ARLINGTON, Texas — With the Texas Rangers doing everything they can to avoid 100 losses during their final homestand of the season, it's pretty obvious that things haven't gone their way for most of the year.
Nevertheless, there are a couple of consolation prizes.
The Rangers defeated the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night by a score of 5-2, staving off the century mark for at least one more night. In the victory, American League Rookie of the Year candidate Adolis García added more cause to his campaign for the award, adding two RBI to his league-leading total among qualifying rookies.
García added two insurance runs in the game. One was manufactured in the second inning as the 28-year-old slugger drove in the Rangers' fourth run of the game on an RBI groundout. Then in the seventh inning, García tallied his 88th RBI of the year on an RBI single.
The mark of 88 is also significant because it ties Pete Incaviglia's single-season record set in 1986 for the most RBI by a rookie in Rangers history. García also entered play on Tuesday tied with Incaviglia's single-season record for home runs by a Rangers rookie (30).
In addition, García's defensive ability was on full display. In the second inning, García chased a ball fading away in foul territory, but jumped, stuck out his glove and hauled in the liner while crashing awkwardly into the wall.
"I've never seen that before," said Rangers manager Chris Woodward. "To jump into the wall like that, I thought he dislocated his shoulder. But he just pops right up. No big deal."
Then in the fourth inning, García caught a line drive hit to deep right field, gathered his step, then fired a missile to first base to pick off Jack Mayfield for a double play, earning his 16th outfield assist on the season, tying Hunter Renfroe for the most in Major League Baseball.
"He threw that like a shortstop would casually to first base," Woodward said. "[It was] on a line. It got there in the air and didn't even hit the ground. Just special, special stuff."
"Those are two plays you don't see anybody else make," Woodward added.
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García is having an all-time season in Rangers history regarding a rookie's performance. However, he has a few legitimate candidates competing for the American League Rookie of the Year award, including Baltimore's Ryan Mountcastle and Tampa Bay's Randy Arozarena.
There is no doubt in the Rangers clubhouse of who should win the award.
"I'd like to see the résumé for the guys that does," Woodward laughed. "What this guy has done on the field, it's been pretty special. There have been some really cool moments with him. That has to count for something. The numbers are good enough. He's an All-Star. He has carried his team. He's been hitting third or fourth in the lineup with no veteran presence around him. It's really difficult to do what he's done and continue to be successful every night."
In order to avoid loss No. 100, the Rangers had to overcome an early hole as Texas starter A.J. Alexy allowed a two-run homer to Max Stassi in the top of the second inning. The offense answered immediately with a four-run outburst in the bottom half of the frame.
Jonah Heim got the Rangers on the board with a one-out RBI double. Then with the bases loaded and one out, Andy Ibáñez recorded his first hit of the night, a two-run single that gave the Rangers a lead they would never surrender. García then added his RBI groundout to give Texas a 4-2 lead.
Ibáñez continued his hitting ways with a three-hit night, which included a triple in the seventh inning that set up García's RBI single.
One the mound, A.J. Alexy worked through five solid innings, earning his third win of the season. He only allowed three hits while walking two batters and striking out two. Kolby Allard, Dennis Santana and Brett Martin kept the Angels at bay with three scoreless innings before Joe Barlow came in and slammed the door shut in the ninth inning for his 10th save of the season.
The Rangers (58-99) and Angels (74-83) continue their three-game series on Wednesday night at Globe Life Field. Taylor Hearn (6-5, 4.55 ERA) will start for the Rangers as Janson Junk (0-1, 3.75 ERA) will take the ball for the Halos.
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