ARLINGTON, Texas — The growing pains continue for this young Texas Rangers team.
The Rangers dropped the first game of a 10-game homestand, falling to the Minnesota Twins in extra innings by a final score of 7-5. For the second time in three games, Josh Sborz and Demarcus Evans struggled with their command and failed to close the door in high-leverage innings late in the game.
"That was probably the most frustrating part of the game," said Rangers manager Chris Woodward. "Literally, we handed them a win."
After the Rangers fought back to tie the game twice, Sborz took the ball for the Rangers in the 10th inning after closer Ian Kennedy kept the game tied in the ninth inning. Sborz immediately gave up a triple to Luis Arraez, which scored the extra innings "ghost runner" from second base.
"Giving one run in that scenario, runner on second with nobody out," Woodward said, "it's kind of expected in that situation."
But after a walk and a strikeout, the Rangers avoided Nelson Crus with an intentional walk to load the bases. However, despite Woodward liking the matchup with Ryan Jeffers, Sborz subsequently walked in a run. Woodward then went to Evans for the final out, which he was able to get, but not before he walked in the Twins' seventh run of the ballgame on a questionable decision to throw a breaking ball with a full count.
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"I know our guys are young, and I get it. But we've gotta play baseball," Woodward said. "[Sborz has] gotta go after that guy. If that guy beats you with a hit, he beats you with a hit. You can't walk that guy."
Regarding Evans, Woodward said, "Hindsight is 20/20. He struck out [Nick] Gordon with those pitches. But with a 3-2 count, you hadn't thrown it the whole at-bat, it's hard to imagine you had a great feel for where you need to start that pitch and land it. ... You've gotta go right after [him]."
Just more teaching moments for a young Rangers team with very limited experience. No one said growing pains are fun, and a 25-44 record is living proof of that.
- Rangers starter Mike Foltynewicz struggled mightily in the first inning, giving up three runs. However, he righted the ship and pitched four more innings, only giving up one additional run in the fifth inning. He was erased from the decision when the Rangers tied the game in the seventh inning.
- Adolis García ended a 17-game home run drought with a game-tying solo blast in the seventh inning. His 17 home runs are most ever by a Rangers rookie prior to the All-Star break, surpassing Pete Incaviglia's 16 home runs in 1986.
- Joey Gallo had his team-leading 14th game of reaching base at least three times this season, walking twice and hitting an RBI single. In his last 10 games, Gallo has nine hits in his last 31 at-bats, a .291 average.
- Gallo also had a pop foul in the seventh inning that struck the rafters. It was the second ball to ever hit the roof during a game at Globe Life Field, and the first Ranger to do so. The first was done by Colorado's Ryan McMahon on July 26, 2020.
- Spencer Patton pitched a perfect inning Friday night, and has been scoreless in all five outings since joining the Rangers.
Outfielder David Dahl, who has been on the Injured List since May 26 with left rib cage and upper back issues, will begin a rehab assignment on Saturday at Triple-A Round Rock.
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