As it turns out, five is just barely greater than four so the Rangers have officially won a baseball game for the first time in the second half of the 2021 season, for the first time since losing 12 consecutive times, and for the first time since July 9.
All it took was the first home game of the second half and a visit from baseball’s worst team, but the Rangers are back shaking hands with the win column.
Texas accomplished the feat despite trailing 2-0 as tonight’s starter Dane Dunning allowed runs in the top of the third and fourth innings. Just when it looked like the Rangers could secure the second longest losing skid in Arlington history, Dunning settled in. Ultimately the rookie tossed 6 1⁄3 innings of two-run ball on six hits, a couple of walks, and three strikeouts.
Meanwhile, the maligned Rangers bats squandered several opportunities to take a lead early in the game before Nathaniel Lowe tied things in the bottom of the fourth with a bases loaded, ground rule double that plated two runs and Joey Gallo emphatically untied the game with a massive three-run dong to straight away center field to cap off the five-run outburst.
The Diamondbacks made things interesting with a couple of runs in the top of the eighth but Ian Kennedy closed the door in the ninth to give the Rangers their first victory in nearly three weeks.
Player of the Game: Props to Lowe for a two-hit, two-RBI night and Dunning for his longest outing of the season on an economical 78 pitches, but it’s Gallo. It’s always been Gallo.
In addition to the cathartic eventual game-winning home run, Gallo also showed his worth in the field with some stellar defense and two more outfield assists because apparently word doesn’t get around in the National League that Gallo’s got a cannon.
Just pay the guy already.
Up Next: The Rangers will attempt to put together a winning streak tomorrow night in the finale of this brief two-game set as RHP Jordan Lyles will start for Texas against LHP Madison Bumgarner for Arizona. Wednesday’s first pitch from The Shed is scheduled for 7:05 pm CT.