Glenn Otto didn’t exactly make the best case to remain in the starting rotation as the Texas Rangers fell to the New York Mets 4-3, on Friday night.
Otto (4-4) had his second straight short outing since he returned from the COVID-19 injured list. In his first start last weekend, he pitched just two frames and gave up six runs.
Otto went further on Friday night, getting through four innings. But for the second straight game the Rangers (36-39) were left with a deficit they could not overcome.
After his first start, Rangers manager Chris Woodward told reporters that he wanted to see more of Otto before making any decisions about his rotation. But he also wanted to see Otto do more, too.
Was Friday’s performance enough?
The Rangers won’t need a new starter until Tuesday in Baltimore when Otto would theoretically start - but on four days rest. The Rangers could go to a bullpen game and push Otto back a day, or call someone up from the minors.
Spencer Howard, who started the season in the Rangers’ rotation before a blister put him on the injured list - and ultimately sent him to the minors - is coming off his best start for Round Rock on Thursday.
Howard could, theoretically, be called up and start on Tuesday on the traditional five days rest if the Rangers go that direction.
The Mets (48-29), one of the best teams in the National League, needed four innings to finally get to Otto and take the lead. Francisco Lindor opened the bottom half of the frame with a single. Then, after Pete Alonso popped out to Marcus Semien, Otto walked Jeff McNeil.
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Mark Canha put the Mets on the board with a sharp liner down the third-base line that hit the wall and bounced in front of Rangers left fielder Kole Calhoun. That probably prevented a second run from scoring, but Lindor scored to tie the game and McNeil moved to third base.
Otto nearly got out of the jam, getting Luis Guillorme to ground out. But, there was little Otto could do about Eduardo Escobar’s three-run home run to left field, which gave the Mets a 4-1 lead.
That inning ended Otto’s night. He threw four innings, giving up four hits, four runs, and three walks while striking out one. He saw his ERA go up to 5.63.
The Rangers used power to put their first two runs on the board. Semien gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead with a solo shot in the third inning, his ninth home run of the season. After the Mets blew the Rangers away with four runs, Nathaniel Lowe pulled an offering from David Peterson into the right-field upper deck for a solo shot in the fifth.
Then, in the sixth, Semien claimed his second hit of the game with a single. He moved to second on a groundout by Corey Seager, to third on an error by Peterson trying to throw to second, and scored on an Adolis García groundout to make it 4-3. After Jonah Heim singled to extend the inning, Peterson struck out Kole Calhoun.
García saw his career-high 11-game hitting streak come to an end, as he went 0-for-4.
The Rangers struggled with Peterson (5-1). He gave up all three Texas runs, but he also struck out 10, a career-high, and allowed five hits. He didn’t walk a single Ranger he faced.
The Rangers will start Martín Pérez on Saturday when they face the Mets at 3:10 p.m. on Saturday. The Mets have not announced a starting pitcher, but it won’t be ace Max Scherzer, who isn’t ready to pitch after working his way back from injury.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard