Leave it to a dumb and bad organization like the Tampa Bay Rays to trade AL MVP frontrunner Nate Lowe to the suave and brilliant Rangers over the winter. When will these teams ever learn?
Tonight Lowe went 2 for 3 with a walk, two home runs, and four more RBIs as he runs his early-season slash total to an extremely robust .381/.409/.857.
I’ve mentioned in this spot before that I wasn’t big on the trade for Lowe for a variety of reasons, but there’s no denying that he’s been a force in the middle of the lineup for the Rangers so far in 2021.
Lowe wasn’t the only Ranger lauchin’ ‘em tonight as fellow first baseman Ronald Guzman took one deep for his first dinger of the season and fellow winter acquisition Jonah Heim smacked the first long ball of his MLB career.
It was a good night for the Jon Daniels/Chris Young front office marriage. Tonight’s starter Dane Dunning was further proof of that as the headlining return from the Lance Lynn trade pitched five innings and allowed just one run with six strikeouts and zero walks.
Dunning was efficient enough (70 pitches over five innings) as the lead in a tandem with Taylor Hearn to qualify for victory. With Dunning exiting with a 6-1 lead, a bullpen trio of Hearn, Matt Bush, and Ian Kennedy held on with Hearn allowing two runs, Bush allowing one, and Kennedy — another offseason addition — tossing a spotless ninth for his first save of the season.
Ultimately, Texas survived a couple of home runs by Bo Bichette on the evening to grab their first win at home this season with Dunning the victor.
Player of the Game: As good a debut as Dunning provided the Rangers, you can’t argue with Lowe these days. Lowe’s two dongs tied him for the MLB lead (3) and his 14 RBI thus far pace the league in the early going.
Up Next: These Rangers and Blue Jays close out this series with a matinee rubber match finale. RHP Kyle Gibson will try to redeem himself in his second start of the season for Texas against LHP Hyun Jin Ryu for Toronto.
Wednesday’s first pitch from The Shed is scheduled for 1:05 pm CT.