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Guardians Blast Rangers With Big Sixth

Cleveland roughs up Texas reliever Taylor Hearn and closes in on an AL Central crown.

ARLINGTON, Texas — The only number that mattered to the Cleveland Guardians was the number five.

That was the number of runs the Guardians scored in the top of the sixth inning of their 6-3 victory over the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Field on Friday night.

It was also the Guardians’ “magic number” going into the game, the combined number of Cleveland wins and Chicago White Sox losses that would claim the American League Central title.

By game’s end, the magic number was three, as the White Sox lost to the Detroit Tigers 5-3.

The Guardians (84-67) have something to play for, while the Rangers (65-85) are just trying to see if they can get to 70 wins for the first time since 2019.

The Rangers have 12 games left.

The Guardians blew away Rangers reliever Taylor Hearn, who took over in the sixth for starter Jon Gray.

The starter pitched masterfully, giving up just one hit in five innings as he continues to navigate a pitch count. The only hit came in the fourth, a Amed Rosario triple. He later scored when Josh Naylor stole second and the ball got away from Rangers second baseman Marcus Semien just enough to allow Rosario to score. Rosario’s run was unearned, the result of an error charged to Rangers catcher Kevin Plawecki.

The Guardians battered Hearn to the point where he was unable to even get out of the sixth. He recorded one out, getting Rosario to pop out after Steven Kwan singled to left field. After Rosario’s at-bat, Hearn gave up five straight hits and five runs before Rangers interim manager Tony Beasley replaced him with Jesus Tinoco.

Hearn’s struggles were more reminiscent of his time as a starter earlier this season and not his work in the bullpen. In his previous 15 outings, all in relief, Hearn had a 2.52 ERA with 13 walks and 40 strikeouts, while allowing a .178 batting average. He had given up just three earned runs in his last seven appearances.

Hearn gave up six hits and five runs on Friday, leaving the Rangers in a 6-2 hole they couldn’t dig out from.

"He couldn't make the pitch that he needed to make," Beasley said. "He did attack but they didn't miss many pitches. It was a pivotal inning."

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Plawecki, making his first start for the Rangers since his signing earlier this week, had a hit in his first at-bat in the second inning and it resulted in the Rangers’ first two runs of the game.

Plawecki’s single scored Adolis García, who walked earlier, and Leody Taveras. The Taveras run was unearned after a throwing error by Cleveland center field Myles Straw allowed Taveras to score. That gave the Rangers a 2-0 lead.

The Rangers didn’t go that quietly. In the bottom of the sixth third baseman Josh Jung drew his first career walk off Guardians reliever Eli Morgan, stole second and then scored on Josh Smith’s single, cutting Cleveland’s lead to 6-3. But Guardians reliever Sam Hentges didn’t let the damage get any worse.

The Rangers had the tying run at the plate in the bottom of the eighth but pinch-hitter Jonah Heim flew out.

The Rangers also had the tying run at the plate in the bottom of the ninth and two out. García took an 100 mile-per-hour pitch off his left wrist and tried to remain in the game. In obvious pain, he left after a few minutes and was replaced by pinch-runner Charlie Culberson.

Beasley said after the game that initial X-rays "looked fine" and that García would be further evaluated on Saturday.

That loaded the bases for Jung, who represented the winning run. Jung grounded out to end the game.

García stole his 25th base of the season on Friday, making him the sixth Rangers player with 25 home runs and 25 stolen bases in the same season and the first since Ian Kinsler did it in 2011.

The game also marked the return of reliever Joe Barlow, who pitched the eighth inning. It was his first Rangers appearance since going on the injured list on Aug. 19 with a right index finger blister.

The Rangers and the Guardians continue the series on Saturday at 6:05 p.m. when Texas right-hander Glenn Otto faces Cleveland right-hander Cal Quantrill. Saturday’s finale, at 1:35 p.m., pits the Rangers’ Cole Ragans against the Guardians’ Aaron Civale.

Sunday will serve as a day to honor Tom Grieve, the Rangers Hall of Famer who is ending his 55-year career with the organization as a player, team executive and television analyst this season.


You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard

Catch up with Inside the Rangers on Facebook and Twitter.

Guardians Blast Rangers With Big Sixth

Cleveland roughs up Texas reliever Taylor Hearn and closes in on an AL Central crown.

ARLINGTON, Texas — The only number that mattered to the Cleveland Guardians was the number five.

That was the number of runs the Guardians scored in the top of the sixth inning of their 6-3 victory over the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Field on Friday night.

It was also the Guardians’ “magic number” going into the game, the combined number of Cleveland wins and Chicago White Sox losses that would claim the American League Central title.

By game’s end, the magic number was three, as the White Sox lost to the Detroit Tigers 5-3.

The Guardians (84-67) have something to play for, while the Rangers (65-85) are just trying to see if they can get to 70 wins for the first time since 2019.

The Rangers have 12 games left.

The Guardians blew away Rangers reliever Taylor Hearn, who took over in the sixth for starter Jon Gray.

The starter pitched masterfully, giving up just one hit in five innings as he continues to navigate a pitch count. The only hit came in the fourth, a Amed Rosario triple. He later scored when Josh Naylor stole second and the ball got away from Rangers second baseman Marcus Semien just enough to allow Rosario to score. Rosario’s run was unearned, the result of an error charged to Rangers catcher Kevin Plawecki.

The Guardians battered Hearn to the point where he was unable to even get out of the sixth. He recorded one out, getting Rosario to pop out after Steven Kwan singled to left field. After Rosario’s at-bat, Hearn gave up five straight hits and five runs before Rangers interim manager Tony Beasley replaced him with Jesus Tinoco.

Hearn’s struggles were more reminiscent of his time as a starter earlier this season and not his work in the bullpen. In his previous 15 outings, all in relief, Hearn had a 2.52 ERA with 13 walks and 40 strikeouts, while allowing a .178 batting average. He had given up just three earned runs in his last seven appearances.

Hearn gave up six hits and five runs on Friday, leaving the Rangers in a 6-2 hole they couldn’t dig out from.

"He couldn't make the pitch that he needed to make," Beasley said. "He did attack but they didn't miss many pitches. It was a pivotal inning."

Plawecki, making his first start for the Rangers since his signing earlier this week, had a hit in his first at-bat in the second inning and it resulted in the Rangers’ first two runs of the game.

Plawecki’s single scored Adolis García, who walked earlier, and Leody Taveras. The Taveras run was unearned after a throwing error by Cleveland center field Myles Straw allowed Taveras to score. That gave the Rangers a 2-0 lead.

The Rangers didn’t go that quietly. In the bottom of the sixth third baseman Josh Jung drew his first career walk off Guardians reliever Eli Morgan, stole second and then scored on Josh Smith’s single, cutting Cleveland’s lead to 6-3. But Guardians reliever Sam Hentges didn’t let the damage get any worse.

The Rangers had the tying run at the plate in the bottom of the eighth but pinch-hitter Jonah Heim flew out.

The Rangers also had the tying run at the plate in the bottom of the ninth and two out. García took an 100 mile-per-hour pitch off his left wrist and tried to remain in the game. In obvious pain, he left after a few minutes and was replaced by pinch-runner Charlie Culberson.

Beasley said after the game that initial X-rays "looked fine" and that García would be further evaluated on Saturday.

That loaded the bases for Jung, who represented the winning run. Jung grounded out to end the game.

García stole his 25th base of the season on Friday, making him the sixth Rangers player with 25 home runs and 25 stolen bases in the same season and the first since Ian Kinsler did it in 2011.

The game also marked the return of reliever Joe Barlow, who pitched the eighth inning. It was his first Rangers appearance since going on the injured list on Aug. 19 with a right index finger blister.

The Rangers and the Guardians continue the series on Saturday at 6:05 p.m. when Texas right-hander Glenn Otto faces Cleveland right-hander Cal Quantrill. Saturday’s finale, at 1:35 p.m., pits the Rangers’ Cole Ragans against the Guardians’ Aaron Civale.

Sunday will serve as a day to honor Tom Grieve, the Rangers Hall of Famer who is ending his 55-year career with the organization as a player, team executive and television analyst this season.


You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard

Catch up with Inside the Rangers on Facebook and Twitter.