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8-9 - Kohei carves up Angels in 6-4 series-opening victory for Rangers

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The Rangers brought out the road lumber to support their Japanese rookie

MLB: Texas Rangers at Los Angeles Angels Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Rangers scored six runs and the Anaheim Angels scored four runs.

After taking three straight in Tampa Bay, the Rangers returned home and scored a total of four runs all weekend against the Baltimore Orioles and were lucky to come away with a win in Sunday’s contest as one run in the tenth inning was all that was required to earn a victory.

Back on the road tonight, Texas unlocked the offense that seems to be buried deep in The Shed in Arlington. In fact, in the sixth inning alone tonight, the Rangers scored more runs than in their last three games combined with a five spot against Angels starter Dylan Bundy.

Adolis Garcia opened the scoring with his second career home run in the top of the third and the Rangers saw their Nos. 6-9 hitters in the order each drive in runs before the night was over.

Rangers starter Kohei Arihara was the main attraction tonight, however, as the starting pitching for Texas continues its torrid pace. Following eight shutout innings from Kyle Gibson in Sunday’s win, Arihara tossed 5 23 scoreless innings on two hits and two walks with six strikeouts in just 77 pitches.

Arihara is now sporting an ERA of 2.21 through four starts to begin his big league career.

The bullpen made things dicey in the late innings as the Angels were able to score four runs in the bottom of the seventh off of Brett Martin and Kyle Cody but Joely Rodriguez and Ian Kennedy came in and kept the Angels off the board in the final two frames to secure a win for Arihara as the Rangers are now within a game of .500.

Player of the Game: I said it in a tweet tonight but Arihara is starting to remind me a bit of Colby Lewis.

Obvious this comparison doesn’t work from the standpoint that Colby was always basically everyone’s dad who is perpetually coming off the high of getting in a nice mowing session on a Saturday afternoon, but what Arihara does seem to have in common with Colby is he doesn’t cave in deep counts, seems allergic to giving up walks (just three in his big league career spanning 21 13 innings, though two of those did come tonight), and throws a nasty looking low 80s slider to get swings and misses when he needs it.

I would love it to death if we have a new Colby Lewis.

Also, as usual, Joey Gallo reached base.

Up Next: The Rangers and Angels will play again tomorrow night with Texas being the unlucky club to draw RHP Shohei Ohtani’s next start. The Rangers will counter with the newly formed Jordan Lyles/Kolby Allard tandem.

Tuesday’s first pitch from The Big A is scheduled for 8:38 pm CT once again.