A pattern is beginning to develop for these 2021 Rangers where, if they manage to win, the victory comes in memorable fashion that is exhilarating and serves to help fans grow fond of this particular edition. Really, in a rebuilding season, that’s quite a feat.
Tonight, these Rangers looked like they were about to pin a complete game loss on starter Kyle Gibson before they rallied once again in the ninth just as they’ve been prone to doing in recent times.
Down 3-1, with Twins Byron Buxton almost single-handedly dragging the Twins kicking and screaming to victory, Willie Calhoun led off the ninth with a solo home run to bring the Rangers to within a run of tying the game.
The rally continued and eventually Isiah Kiner-Falefa paracuted a game-tying sac fly on a ball that sent Minnesota shortstop Andrelton Simmons into shallow left field with his back to the plate to catch the ball. Simmons couldn’t get anything on his throw and Charlie Culberson scored the tying run.
In spooky ghost infested extras, the Rangers didn’t even need their free runner as Adolis Garcia hit a two-run home run and a couple of extra base hits from Joey Gallo and Culberson padded the lead.
As for Gibson, he allowed a two-run Buxton blast — the first dinger that he has coughed up this season — and then a solo Willians Astudillo homer. That was all that the Twins could muster during Gibson’s eight innings of work. Overall, Gibson gave up just three hits and two walks while tying his season high with eight strikeouts against his old team.
That’s a damn fine start that looked like it was going to go for a loss on his ledger until the Rangers got him off the hook with yet another late-inning revival.
Player of the Game: Gibson was the star for the Rangers tonight until Garcia’s extra inning heroics. But let’s hear it for Andy Ibanez for collecting a pinch hit single in the ninth for his first career hit in his first career at-bat in a critical spot in the comeback in his very first evening as a big leaguer. Congratulations, Andy!
Up Next: The Rangers and Twins continue this series tomorrow evening with
RLHP Hyeon-Jong Yang making the first start of his Major League career against LHP Lewis Thorpe for Minnesota. Wednesday’s first pitch from Target Field is once again scheduled for 6:40 pm CT.