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54-39 - Rangers do enough to grab series from Cleveland with 2-0 win

Two’ll do

MLB: Cleveland Guardians at Texas Rangers Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Rangers scored twice and the Cleveland Guardians did not score.

You’re not going to score 12 every game, unfortunately. But a night after Texas dropped a dozen on the Guardians, it did appear as though they were in position to pile on again today as they had bases loaded situations in each of the first two innings against rookie pitcher Gavin Williams.

However, the Rangers never did get that RISP hit to build a comfy lead despite scoring one apiece in each frame via a fielder’s choice ground out and sac fly.

Unlike many of the games where Texas was held quiet in RISP situations throughout the final weeks of the first half, however, the pitching held up for Texas with the bullpen in particular maneuvered in a nice way by Bruce Bochy.

Today’s starter Andrew Heaney doesn’t appear to be a guy who can be counted on to go much further than a couple of turns through the lineup and that proved true again this afternoon as he made it through just 5 13 innings on 87 pitches. However, these were pretty good innings from Heaney (6 H, 1 BB, 4 K) — much better than those in his previous few outings — and Cleveland was kept off the scoreboard.

A bullpen trio of Grant Anderson, Will Smith, and Aroldis Chapman were called on to carry through Heaney’s effort and they did so with 3 23 shutout innings. Now the Rangers have a series win under their belts with a chance for a sweep in tomorrow’s finale.

Player of the Game: Pitching as a high leverage setup man in today’s game, Smith gave the Rangers 1 13 innings of spotless relief to set Chapman up for the save. It was interesting to see Smith called upon in the 7th inning — after spending much of the first half as the closer — but maneuvering delicately through landmines with this bullpen is something that Bochy has been challenged with and today he made all the right moves.

Up Next: The Rangers will close out this second half-opening tilt looking for a sweep of the Guardians with LHP Martin Perez making his first start since July 3 opposite RHP Tanner Bibee for Cleveland.

Sunday afternoon’s first pitch from The Shed is set for 1:35 pm CT and will be telecasted on BS Southwest.