There is no quit in the 2021 Texas Rangers.
As a matter of fact, it only takes one word for manager Chris Woodward to describe his team.
"Resilient," Woodward said.
The young-but-scrappy Rangers fought back from a 3-1 deficit late in Wednesday's game, defeating the Los Angeles Angels by a score of 7-4. The Rangers took two of three games in Anaheim, improving to 9-10 on the season.
Adolis García played hero once again for the Rangers, driving a 1-2 pitch from Mike Mayers over the wall in center field for a three-run home run that gave Texas a 4-3 lead in the eighth inning. Nate Lowe followed with a solo home run of his own, the second time the Rangers have hit back-to-back home runs this season.
García's eighth inning home run was not only the third of his career. All three of his home runs have been go-ahead blasts. Consistent with how his manager and teammates talk about him, García displayed the passion and emotion he carries with him on the field. He flipped his bat just after stepping out of the batter's box, and skipped and hollered while rounding the bases.
Justified or not, Woodward has been criticized for some previous comments on breaking baseball's unwritten rules. However, he made it clear he has no issue with his players playing with passion. In addition, he may have given us a key reason why the bat flip is growing in popularity.
"It's a different style of game," Woodward said. "What I do love is everybody comes from different backgrounds, from all over the world. In different cultures, that's celebrated. He's not trying to show anybody up. He's not trying to disrespect anybody. He's excited hit a home run in the Major Leagues to give his team a chance to win the game. I'm all about that, man."
The Rangers kept their foot on the gas in the ninth inning. With one out in the frame, Leody Taveras drew his second walk of the game. Isiah Kiner-Falefa followed with an opposite-field single, while Taveras reached third base with some aggressive baserunning. Kiner-Falefa followed suit and swiped second base on the throw.
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"That's the style of baseball we want to play," Woodward said. "We want to take it to guys, and we want them to know that we're going to do that as well."
Nick Solak followed with a walk to load the bases, setting the table for Joey Gallo to do some damage. Angels reliever Junior Guerra refused to put any pitches in danger areas, and Gallo gladly took his third free pass of the game to drive in a run. Guerra gifted the Rangers their seventh run with a bases-loaded balk.
Gallo's commitment to not selling out for power and forcing opposing pitchers to come into the strike zone has not gone unnoticed. He was rewarded with the post-win cowboy hat, even though he didn't fill up the stat line like García.
"I'm so proud of Joey," Woodward said. "He's totally on board with what we're trying to do from an offensive standpoint. It's a huge thing for our offense when our best player is stubborn in the strike zone."
Rangers starter Mike Foltynewicz gave the team another quality start, pitching six innings while giving up three runs on seven hits, no walks, and six strikeouts. The Rangers entered the day with the best rotation ERA in the American League, and while Foltynewicz was hurt by three solo home runs to Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, and Justin Upton, he ultimately did his job by keeping his team in the game.
The Rangers are off on Thursday as they travel to Chicago to prepare for a three-game weekend series with the White Sox. Dane Dunning, who the Rangers acquired from the White Sox this past winter, will start the first game of the series.