Dane Dunning made his third start for Texas and was every bit as impressive as he had been in his first two. Given a smidge more of a leash, Dunning tossed six scoreless innings on five hits, zero walks and five Ks on 75 pitches.
Were the Rangers not limiting the pitches and innings of some of their starters — including Dunning — you get the feeling that he could have just kept coasting through this one.
When Dunning exited after his six frames, the Rangers were up 1-0 following a fourth inning David Dahl RBI single. But the Rangers didn’t do much of anything else at the plate on the night and Dunning’s tandem-mate Taylor Hearn allowed the tying run nearly immediately in the top of the seventh.
Tied in the top of the eighth, newly activated Joely Rodriguez allowed two Orioles runs and was unable to make it through an inning. Eventually Baltimore’s lead proved far too much for the Rangers to overcome in their home park and that became especially true when the O’s padded on three insurance runs off Brett de Geus in the ninth.
Player of the Game: Can’t argue with the kinds of outings Dunning has been putting together for the Rangers so far since coming to Texas from the Chicago White Sox over the winter in the Lance Lynn trade.
Overall, in three starts, Dunning has tossed 15 innings and allowed just one run for an ERA of 0.60. While he likely isn’t going to be fighting for the league ERA crown at season’s end, his peripheral stats show that he’s even been a little regression proof with a 2.28 FIP and 3.14 xFIP.
Dunning’s ceiling isn’t thought of to be that of a top of the rotation starter, but the Rangers haven’t even really had a young middle of the rotation guy come their way in years and such a pitcher has a been a rare breed for the franchise throughout its history. If Dunning can become that, it will be a boon for the rebuild.
Also of note: Joey Gallo extended his on base streak to every game this season with a walk in the bottom of the eighth.
Up Next: The Rangers and Orioles will play an afternoon affair with RHP Kyle Gibson making the start for Texas against LHP John Means for Baltimore. First pitch from Sunday’s finale at The Shed is scheduled for 1:35 pm CT.