With a real chance to go above .500, the Rangers did something that has been quite foreign to them of late, they were unable to hold onto a late lead.
Staked to that lead after two solo home runs from Sam Huff and Nathaniel Lowe, starter Jon Gray cruised until a Randy Arozarena solo shot marred Gray’s sterling effort otherwise.
After Gray exited, the Rays eventually tied the game in the 8th with a rally against reliever John King and then took the lead and eventually grabbed the win with extra inning illegitimate runner nonsense.
It’s hard really to blame the pitching too much as the real issue tonight was the lack of support from the bats. Nevertheless, it was uncharacteristic of the ‘pen to be unable to finish the job and now the Rangers will have to battle to reach .500 once more.
Player of the Game: Gray has had a weird season where the lockout and shortened spring seemed to hinder him more than most as he’s already taken a couple of trips to the IL with nagging issues.
Perhaps now, on the first day of June, he’s finally all the way ramped up as the Rangers’ biggest free agent pitching expenditure from this offseason tossed 7 innings of 3-hit ball with Arozarena’s homer representing the only run on his ledger.
Gray did walk a couple but he also struck out 12, a team-high for the 2022 campaign so far. Unfortunately, Texas didn’t do much to help him out at the plate, so he didn’t get a win and eventually neither day the Rangers.
Up Next: The Rangers and Rays are at it again with Texas sending LHP Taylor Hearn to the mound with another chance to claim the series. Tampa Bay will counter with former Rangers righty — for all of 1 IP — Corey Kluber.
Thursday afternoon’s finale from Globe Life Field is scheduled for 1:05 pm CDT.