ARLINGTON, Texas — Offseason acquisition Nate Lowe is giving fans multiple reasons to be the next fan-favorite in Arlington.
Fourteen of them, actually.
The Texas Rangers defeated the Toronto Blue Jays by a score of 7-4, which was highlighted by Lowe's two home runs and four RBI. That brings his total through five games to 14 RBI, the most since Chris Davis' 17 RBI for the Baltimore Orioles in the first five games of the 2013 season.
Cincinnati's Tyler Naquin briefly overtook Lowe's RBI lead with a seven-RBI game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night, but Lowe's four RBI keeps him atop the MLB leaderboard.
"That's pretty good," said Rangers manager Chris Woodward with a chuckle. "It's pretty exciting. Honestly, the third at-bat was probably the most impressive, because he had a chance to get three homers. He doesn't chase, and he ends ups walking. Those are the at-bats we talk about. Constantly putting pressure on them and staying in the strike zone."
There was no question of who got the Rangers' cowboy hat after that performance.
Lowe has personified what the cowboy hat stands for, speaking up in hitters meetings, echoing the competitiveness and 'F-you' mentality the team adopted during spring training.
To put it simply, this team loathes the word "rebuild."
"Yeah, that's a fact," Lowe said. "Every time we step on the field, we have a chance to compete, and a chance to win. If we're gonna be here, we might as well win. There's no reason to see it as a rebuild."
The Texas lineup supported Lowe's big night, adding three more runs to secure the victory. Ronald Guzmán hit a 112-mph rocket for his first home run of the season, and Jonah Heim added on with his first big league home run. Brock Holt added some insurance in the bottom of the eighth, driving in Nick Solak with an RBI single.
There had been a lot of focus on the competition between Guzmán and Lowe at first base, which Lowe ultimately won (and is proving why thus far). However, Lowe and Guzmán have become good friends and don't share any animosity to any extent.
"He's been as great a teammate as I've been around," Lowe said of Guzmán. "To have the character that he has in the limited chances that he gets, he's been so good of a teammate and a really solid player. We're looking for more success out of him too. To see him go deep tonight was huge, and we're looking forward to more good results out of him."
The Rangers' four home runs in Tuesday's victory ties the Houston Astros for the most by a team in a regular season game at Globe Life Field. It is, however, the most by any team at the new ballpark with the roof closed.
On the pitching side, Dane Dunning commanded the first five innings of the game. After surrendering a first-inning home run to Bo Bichette, Dunning only faced two over the minimum, and retired the final 10 batters he faced. He allowed only the one run on three hits, no walks, and six strikeouts.
"Dane was really good," Woodward said. "He was really, really good. I think from what we've seen in spring training and leading into this game, he gets better as he goes as well. That's something that really stood out as well. When he gets between the lines, he's better than he is outside the lines in the bullpen. Also, as he gets comfortable in games, he gets better and better. And he did that tonight."
Taylor Hearn pitched a clean sixth inning, but after a walk and and a single, two wild pitches allowed Toronto to start climbing back in the game. Randal Grichuk followed with an RBI single off Hearn, and Bichette hit his second homer of the night off Matt Bush in the eighth inning to pull Toronto within two runs.
After the Rangers regained a three-run lead, Ian Kennedy closed things out with a perfect ninth inning for his first save of the season.
Brock Holt had to come out of the game after his RBI single in the eighth inning. The Rangers announced he has right hamstring tightness and will be reevaluated on Wednesday.