The Cleveland Guardians came up short against the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night, snapping their three-game winning streak with a 7-3 loss to the team from the Lone Star State.
The Rangers opened up a 3-0 lead in the first inning and only needed to see 11 pitches to do it. With one out, Eli Morgan surrendered a single, a double, and then finally a home run to Nate Lowe. To his credit, Morgan held Texas scoreless over the next three frames, but every inning was a battle. By the time DeMarlo Hale pulled him with one out in the fifth inning after Morgan gave up an infield single and a double, he had piled up 76 pitches. The Rangers put the screws to him with a number of good at-bats, racking up eight hits, two walks, and four earned runs.
Justin Garza, inheriting runners on second and third, allowed Morgan’s fourth run to cross the plate on a D.J. Peters RBI groundout, before recording the final out of the inning. The Guardians’ bullpen managed to hold serve until the ninth inning, when Bryan Shaw decided to turn a one-run game into a four-game game. With a runner on first, he allowed a two-out infield single down the third base line to Lowe before serving up a three-run homer to Peters.
With Taylor Hearn on the mound to start the game for Texas, Cleveland came close to overcoming the four runs Morgan surrendered to the Rangers. Daniel Johnson and Yu Chang contributed two solo home runs and Franmil Reyes brought home Amed Rosario on a sac fly to cut into the Rangers’ lead, but the Guardians were only able to muster five hits and two walks over six innings. Hearn’s four-seam fastball flummoxed the Cleveland lineup, recording a 36% CSW% on the night. Myles Straw struck out three times against him, marking just the third time this season that the center fielder has been punched out three times in one game.
But Straw made his presence felt elsewhere. The seventh inning comes to mind. With two outs and a runner on first, Peters lined a shot to deep center field, where Straw made a diving catch at the warning track to rob him of an extra-base hit and an insurance run.
Cleveland’s best chance to tie the game or take the lead came in the bottom of the seventh inning. Trailing 4-3, Yu Chang singled to center and Daniel Johnson followed with a walk to put runners on first and second with no outs. Ernie Clement, on a 2-0 count, bunt popped out to Texas third baseman Andy Ibanez. Then Straw lined into a double play to end the inning.
As much as the Guardians struggled offensively, Amed Rosario continued to look locked in at the plate, extending his hitting streak to 10 games with a two-out single in the third inning.