At this point, it seems like Jordan Lyles has all but shrugged off the tandem starter role and is carving out a spot as a traditional starter as long as he can continue being efficient during his time on the mound.
Though Wes Benjamin did relieve Lyles tonight, just as he has in each outing thus far this season, Lyles was able to make it into the sixth inning with his 86 pitches. Benjamin, meanwhile, was only given 1 1⁄3 innings in 44 less-than-economical pitches.
These days, that’s not really a tandem so much as a reliever coming in after the night’s starter. In three starts this season, Lyles is averaging five innings per outing. Lyles allowed three runs on five hits, one walk and four strikeouts in his 5 1⁄3 innings tonight.
After Lyles exited, Tampa Bay tied the game in the bottom of the sixth off Benjamin though the run was unearned as Jose Trevino’s attempt to throw out a thieving Brett Phillips ended up in center field where Leody Taveras’ attempt to throw out an increasingly ambitious Phillips ended up between third base and home plate as the throw hit Phillips at the bag and rolled away.
Phillips scampered in for an unusual two-error run that tied the game. The Rangers and Rays’ bullpens then traded zeroes until Texas was faced with their first extra inning of the season.
With the still incredibly unwelcome ghost runner on second, Adolis Garcia came up to the plate with one out and drilled a dinger to the right field stands for the first homer of his career to give the Rangers a 6-4 lead and eventually a third consecutive win.
Player of the Game: Garcia was robbed of his first big league home run by terrible umpiring twice last night so he did it the fun way with a two-run blast in the tenth inning for the game-winner that earned the Rangers a series victory over the Rays.
Others of note: Joey Gallo reached three times tonight and has gotten on base in every contest this season while also leading the sport in walks drawn. Charlie Culberson hit a two-run dong in the top of the fourth which staked Texas to an early 3-1 lead. Nick Solak went 3-for-5 with his second dong of the season/series against his old team.
Up Next: The Rangers are heading back home to open up a weekend series against the Baltimore Orioles. RHP Mike Foltynewicz will make the start in the opener against RHP Jorge Lopez for the O’s. Friday’s first pitch from The Shed is scheduled for 7:05 pm CT.