Slumping Rangers ‘won’t panic,’ try to avert sweep by Twins

Slumping Rangers 'won't panic,' try to avert sweep by Twins

The Minnesota Twins will turn to right-hander Kenta Maeda as they try to complete a three-game sweep of the slumping Texas Rangers on Sunday afternoon in Arlington, Texas.

Maeda (3-7, 4.69 ERA) is 2-0 with a 2.70 ERA and a save in four career appearances (three starts) against the Rangers. But against all opponents this season, he has gone four starts since his last win. That was a 12-1 victory over Arizona on Aug. 5, when he allowed one run on just two hits over six innings while striking out seven.

Minnesota (71-65) holds a five-game lead over Cleveland in the American League Central and will open a three-game road series with the Guardians on Monday.

Texas (75-60), which will start right-hander Jon Gray (8-7, 3.79) on Sunday, is just 3-12 over its past 15 games and enters Sunday’s contest in third place in the American League West, two games behind the first-place Seattle Mariners. The Rangers, however, still hold a 1 1/2-game lead over the Toronto Blue Jays for the final AL wild-card spot.

Gray is 1-0 with a 5.06 ERA in one career start against Minnesota. That came in July 2022 when he gave up five runs (three earned) on nine hits, including home runs to Carlos Correa and Ryan Jeffers, while striking out eight over 5 1/3 innings in a 6-5 victory.

The Twins, who won the series opener 5-1 on Friday, rallied from an early 4-0 deficit to pull out a 9-7 victory in 10 innings on Saturday night.

Donovan Solano tied his career high with four hits, including a home run, and drove in three runs, and Carlos Correa and Max Kepler had RBI singles off Aroldis Chapman during a three-run 10th inning to lead Minnesota to its MLB-best 12th extra-inning victory.

Texas, which fell to just 2-8 in extra-inning contests, jumped to a 4-0 lead on two-run homers by Adolis Garcia and Sam Huff, but starter Jordan Montgomery couldn’t hold it, allowing six runs on seven hits in just 3 2/3 innings.

The Twins took a 6-4 lead in the fourth, scoring five runs with two outs, including a two-run double by Michael A. Taylor and a two-run single by Solano that drove Montgomery from the game.

But Texas tied the score at 6-6 in the eighth inning on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly by Robbie Grossman off reliever Emilio Pagan, who walked three consecutive batters to start the inning. However, Pagan rebounded after Grossman’s sacrifice fly to get Ezequiel Duran to pop out and J.P. Martinez to strike out to end the threat.

That opened the door for the three-run, game-winning rally in the 10th for the Twins.

“Our offense was unrelenting,” Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli told afterward. “We put together great at-bats. A lot of guys had great at-bats. Solano led the way, but we had a lot of guys that played great.”

Solano’s big game came after he was sent back to the hotel on Friday because he wasn’t feeling well.

“He was unbelievable today,” Baldelli said. “It’s crazy because he was sick as a dog yesterday. I mean, he was extremely sick. … Then he came in today and said he’s feeling better. He’s definitely not 100 percent, but his health improved and he came ready to play. He’s been raking all year, and tonight was more of the same of what we’ve seen from him.”

Montgomery had gone 2-1 with a 2.30 ERA in five starts for the Rangers after being acquired at the trade deadline from St. Louis.

“We can’t panic or anything,” Montgomery said of the team’s current 3-12 stretch. “We believe we’re a good team, and we’ve just got to get back to playing good baseball.”

—Field Level Media

Original source here

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.