ARLINGTON, Texas — The Texas Rangers will not go undefeated in 2020.
In the first day game officially played at Globe Life Field, the Rangers left 12 runners on base in a 3-2 loss to the Colorado Rockies.
Down by two runs, the Rangers loaded the bases with only one out in the seventh inning and had runners at second and third base with nobody out in the eighth inning. They failed to produce a run in either situation.
“We had a golden opportunity with a lot of our best hitters," Woodward said. That was something that kind of defined the game. We were in it the whole way and we ended up losing by one run. Those are situations I expect our best hitters to come through and capitalize on. Today they got us.”
The Rangers tried to rally in the ninth inning after Elvis Andrus earned his third free pass of the game. He advanced to second and third base on defensive indifference, only for Joey Gallo to hit a two-out cue shot against the shift for an RBI single. Colorado closer Wade Davis slammed the door shut by getting Rougned Odor to look at a borderline pitch for strike three.
The Rangers were a bit unlucky with some hard hit balls not falling for base hits. However, a huge difference in this game was the defensive performance by both clubs. The Rockies were outstanding in the field from the get go. Colorado's Garrett Hampson robbed Shin-Soo Choo of a lead-off home run to left field in the first inning. Trevor Story made an acrobatic play to tag out Elvis Andrus while attempting to steal second base in the home half of the fourth inning.
Meanwhile, the Rangers committed two errors in the top of the fourth inning, which lead to the Rockies putting the first two runs of the game on the board. Rockies hitters put a lot of pressure on Rangers starter Mike Minor, extending at-bats with numerous foul balls.
“It was fairly frustrating. I felt like I could’ve gotten out of it a little earlier than expected," Minor said. "I wasn’t sure about the play that came back at me. I thought we had a play at the plate. Obviously I just tried to skip it over there thinking that was the quickest way, bang-bang play or whatever, and it didn’t work out. I felt like they battled pretty good today with the foul balls and getting me deep in counts and stuff like that, so it was a frustrating day.”
Minor still had a decent outing, but was forced to throw 98 pitches through five innings. He allowed two runs (one earned), three hits, one walk, and struck out six hitters. For Minor, today was a grind from the moment he walked out of the bullpen prior to the game.
“I didn’t feel like in rhythm, in sync," Minor said. "A lot of times that doesn’t really matter though. You throw a bad bullpen or something and then you go into the game, it could be a lot different.
"Luckily I feel like I had a decent slider and an OK changeup and kind of spraying the fastball a little bit more than I would like, but I felt like I kept us in the game for the most part. We always want to go more than five innings and not make any errors.”
Isiah Kiner-Falefa Scratched from Lineup
Isiah Kiner-Falefa was scratched from Saturday's lineup with tightness in his left hamstring. He went 1-for-2 with a triple and a walk in Friday night's season opener.
"I'm hoping it's just a cramp. That's what he said he felt a little bit last night. I don't know if it's enough to be considered a strain. But it was something we both kind of talked about, and I talked about with the trainers," Woodward said. "I don't know if its was grabbing on him a little bit when he was trying to run before the game. So I felt like it makes no sense to try and put him in a situation where he could end up hurting himself even more.
"So hopefully he might be there tomorrow if he feels good coming in tomorrow. But otherwise, we have an off day after that so it might be OK to give him another couple days."
Colorado's Daniel Bard Makes Major League Return
Rockies reliever Daniel Bard pitched in a major league game for the first time since April 27, 2013 as a member of the Boston Red Sox. Sports Illustrated's Stephanie Apstein wrote a detailed story on Bard's road back to the major leagues after struggling with the yips.
In his return to the major leagues, Bard pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings and earned his first win since May 29, 2012.
"That's why we couldn't get the big hit; there was a higher power involved," Woodward said. "Yeah, it is pretty cool to see that. Obviously, I'm a baseball fan, so I'm a fan of stories like that. I didn't want to see him get his first win against us, but obviously... former teammate that I know a little bit. I am happy for him. Like I said, it's not cool when it's against us, but I'm a big fan of stories like that."
The rubber match for this three-game series will be played Sunday afternoon at 1:35 p.m. CST. Rangers' prized offseason acquisition Corey Kluber will be making his debut with the club.