Rangers 11, Royals 2
- Clearly, what the Ranger offense needed was Bubba Thompson and Travis Jankowski.
- First things first, though...Andrew Heaney tied a record. A good one! Nine consecutive strikeouts, tying the American League record for most consecutive strikeouts. Heaney got the first ten outs of the game via strikeout, in fact, before getting the final five outs he registered by more conventional means.
- And this was after things looked early on like it might be another abbreviated Heaney outing. Heaney was knocked out in the third the last time out, and got into trouble in the first inning of this game. Bobby Witt Jr. went down and got a slider that was looped into the outfield for a single to lead off the game. A stolen base, a K and a walk was followed by Heaney falling behind 3-0 to Vinny Pasquantino. After a foul made it 3-1, Pasquantino lofted a ball down the line to deepish right field. Garcia moved under it...and then just whiffed. The wind from the roof being open playing tricks, maybe? I don’t know...but a routine fly ball was simply misplayed by Garcia, bringing a run home and putting runners on second and third with one out.
- I was convinced at that point that things were going south, both runs were going to score, the bullpen was going to have to provide a ton of innings.
- And, of course, I was wrong. The Garcia misplay was followed by a pair of strikeouts, the first two of the nine in a row that put Heaney in the record books.
- Heaney’s final line: 5 IP, 2 hits, 2 walks, 10 Ks, an unearned run allowed. 93 pitches, just nine first pitch strikes to 20 batters faced, but 19 swinging strikes in all. Quite a game from Heaney.
- Brock Burke came in to protect a three run lead and ended up being given a ten run lead before he left the game. Burke gave up some loud contact — a pair of 100+ exit velocity ground balls in the sixth, one of which required a very nice play from Josh Smith to get an out on, along with a 103.2 mph home run to Hunter Dozier — but he got through the two innings with just the solo home run on his ledger, with one K.
- Dane Dunning, shutdown reliever, finished things out with two shutout innings, striking out two and allowing a hit. Dunning still has yet to allow a run this year.
- Corey Seager erased the Royal lead right away, with a one out solo homer in the first to tie the game at one.
- Travis Jankowski then sparked a rally in the third to give the Rangers a lead. With the Royal infield playing him to pull, Jankowski tapped a roller the other way, right by third base. It is a ball that wouldn’t have been pulled over for speeding on the interstate, but given how the infield was playing, Matt Duffy couldn’t keep it from bounding into the outfield, allowing Jaknowski to get to second base.
- Marcus Semien followed that up by smoking a grounder that Witt misplayed. An infield dribbler by Seager allowed him to reach safely and Jankowski to score, which was followed up by a Nathaniel Lowe double that scored Semien but, alas, saw Seager thrown out at home. Still, it gave the Rangers a 3-1 lead, and they never looked back after that.
- Jonah Heim homered in the fourth to make it a 4-1 lead. The sixth inning, though, was where things blew up for the bats.
- Robbie Grossman and Jonah Heim walked to start the sixth. After a Josh Smith K, Bubba Thompson laced a double to right field to bring Grossman home, after which Jankowski singled home Heim and Thompson. A Jankowski steal and walks to Seager and Lowe set the stage for Adolis Garcia to make up for his first inning misplay, blasting a grand slam to turn it into a laugher.
- I keep wanting to type “Rex” Grossman and “Sebastian” Jankowski, incidentally.
- Andrew Heaney topped out at 94.1 mph, averaging 91.6 mph with his fastball. Brock Burke hit 96.9 mph with his fastball. Dan Dunning topped out at 92.0 mph with his sinker.
- Nathaniel Lowe had the high exit velocity on the day, with a 107.5 mph double. Adolis Garcia’s grand slam was 106.4 mph off the bat. Jonah Heim’s home run was 105.1 mph, while he also had a 105.3 mph ground out. Corey Seager’s homer was 104.5 mph. Marcus Semien had a 103.0 mph ground ball that went for an error.
- Texas is in sole possession of first place. I’m still going to enjoy that while it lasts.