July 6, 2022

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Offensive spark missing for Rangers in loss

3 min read
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Rangers infielder Brad Miller got some laughs out of his pregame apparel. He wore Nathaniel Lowe’s jeans while taking batting practice after losing a bet in Oakland. After hitting a few balls deep before the game, Miller said that if he performed well at the plate on Tuesday, he would keep the jeans and pass them around the team.

Miller went 0-for-4 in the loss, so Lowe just might get his jeans back, but he wasn’t the only one who struggled at the plate. The Rangers only managed to string together three hits, and two of those hits were in the seventh and eighth innings. The three hits were a season low for the club.

It was a different offense from the 6-2 win against the Astros on Monday when the Rangers registered 11 hits. Seven of the 12 Rangers that saw action at the plate Monday had hits, and four of them — Lowe, Adolis García, Corey Seager and Willie Calhoun — had a multihit game.

Manager Chris Woodward addressed the loss bluntly — the Rangers just didn’t play a good game, and they didn’t execute well on either side.

“We played a good game yesterday. Guys were excited today to come to the field, you know, they put good work in,” Woodward said. “I don’t know where that got lost in between that and game time, because we didn’t do anything we wanted to do on the offensive side. We knew [Jake Odorizzi] was going to come with fastballs, and it felt like nobody was ready for it.”

García scored the Rangers’ lone run of the game with a solo shot to left field off Odorizzi in the second inning. The top of the lineup, which consisted of Miller, Marcus Semien, Seager and Lowe, went a combined 1-for-15.

A few Rangers managed to get a good swing on the ball, but each of those fell short at the warning track.

Taylor Hearn was dealt his second loss of the season after surrendering four runs on five hits in his five-inning outing. One of those hits was a two-run, 426-foot home run off the bat of Astros outfielder Kyle Tucker in the fourth inning. Tucker snapped Hearn’s streak of 20 2/3 consecutive innings without allowing a home run at Globe Life Field. 

Woodward says he has high expectations for Hearn, but he wants to see more power from him. 

“He’s got a power arm, but we just haven’t seen the power,” Woodward said. “I’d like to see him just get down on the mound and just go attack guys instead of trying to be like a sinker or changeup pitcher. I’d rather just see him go after the hitters. He’s got elite stuff; he’s got power stuff. It just hasn’t really shown up that way.”

Hearn said the positive he took away from the loss was being able to go deeper in the game, referencing his most recent start against Seattle. Though the Rangers eventually won, Hearn gave up five runs on five hits — two of which were home runs — and walked four in three innings. 

“That one, especially after that first inning, kind of hit me a little mentally,” Hearn said. “But other than that, [Tuesday] felt good.”

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