The Texas Rangers continue to play winning baseball in September, despite starting the month with three straight losses.
The Rangers defeated the Oakland Athletics on Sunday by a score of 4-3, taking two of three games from their weekend series at The Coliseum. It was also the final game between the two teams this season, a series that the Rangers have played very well with all things considering. Event though Oakland is still competing for a spot in the postseason, they slightly edged the Rangers in the series, 10-9.
More young players who are vying for spots on the 2022 roster contributed to Sunday's win. Isiah Kiner-Falefa broke the scoreless tie in the third inning with a one-out two-run single. Jonah Heim followed with a sacrifice fly to give the Rangers a 3-0 lead.
In the fourth inning, Leody Taveras roped a line drive over Chad Pinder's outstretched glove in right-center field for a two-out RBI triple. The clutch hit from the 22-year-old centerfielder turned out to be what decided the game.
Taylor Hearn continued his streak of solid pitching on Sunday afternoon. He kept the A's off the board for the first four innings of the ballgame. Yan Gomes got to him in the fifth inning with a solo homer, then Matt Olson brought Oakland within a run with a two-run shot with two outs in the sixth inning.
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Even so, Hearn finished the day with his third straight quality start, giving up three runs on five hits with no walks and two strikeouts in six innings of work. What's more, Hearn hasn't walked any batters in any of these three consecutive quality starts.
After Hearn's six innings, manager Chris Woodward opted for his bullpen, and they answered the call. Dennis Santana pitched two critical scoreless innings in relief of Hearn, with just one walk as the only blemish on his line. Joe Barlow then came in and pitched a perfect inning against the heart of the A's lineup for his sixth save of the season.
After going 6-3 on their nine-game road trip, the Rangers (53-89) head home for a seven-game homestand. First, they welcome the Houston Astros (83-59) to Globe Life Field for a four-game series — the final four games between the two rivals this season. Spencer Howard (0-3, 6.21 ERA) is scheduled to get the start on Monday against Houston's Jake Odorizzi (6-7, 4.28 ERA).
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