It’s not time for spring cleaning just yet as the Rangers avoided the brooms in Toronto by erasing a 6-1 deficit in the middle innings to come away with their first victory of the season.
A win didn’t look like a likely preposition early as Texas had to take a page out of Toronto’s Opening Day book following a four-run outburst off of starter Spencer Howard in the game’s first frame.
By the time Howard exited after three innings, having allowed four home runs, it was 6-1 and it looked like the Rangers would be flying back to Texas with their tail between their legs to begin what is meant to be a bit of a redemptive season.
However, in the top of the 4th, the improved Rangers lineup woke up for a six-spot against Jays’ starter Hyun Jin Ryu to give Texas a surprising lead that they would just continue adding upon.
A series win would have been nice, but getting a victory in the finale will suffice. Perhaps the most impressive thing we learned from the series was how well the bats handled the starting staff of what is expected to be a league contender.
Overall, the trio of Jose Berrios, Kevin Gausman, and Ryu combined to go just 8 2⁄3 innings and allowed 13 runs to the new look Rangers.
Meanwhile, Texas had a lot of hiccups from the bullpen during the series but today, after Howard’s disappointing season debut, a quintet from the ‘pen tossed six scoreless frames to allow the bats a chance to pile on.
Brock Burke especially impressed in his season debut immediately following Howard as he tossed two scoreless innings with five strikeouts. Joe Barlow finally had an opportunity to get in a game and he enjoyed a scoreless frame to end this one.
Now with a win under their belt, the Rangers head home to kick off their 50th year in Arlington celebration in earnest.
Player of the Game: There was a lot to love from this one. Brad Miller pinch hit, homered, and ended up with 4 RBIs. Corey Seager continued his multi-hit streak to start the season. Jonah Heim reached four times, drove in three, and had his first dinger of the season.
But, with a lefty on the mound for the Jays today, the right-handed hitting half of the left field platoon Nick Solak was in the lineup for his first action of the season and he made the most of his debut by going 2-for-3 with two walks, four runs scored, and a solo home run that got the Rangers on the board and kicked off the bounce back bid.
Up Next: Time to break out the bolt cutters and bust into The Shed for the real Opening Day with LHP Taylor Hearn set to make the start in the home opener for the Rangers against LHP Austin Gomber of the Colorado Rockies.
Monday’s first pitch is scheduled for 3:05 pm CDT but expect some ceremonial delays.