Aside from a momentary burst of life in the sixth inning, the Cleveland Guardians were a no-show in the nightcap of Tuesday’s doubleheader, dropping a 6-3 loss to the Texas Rangers.
Kirk McCarty is thankfully on his way back to Triple-A Columbus after a thoroughly unimpressive start against Texas, the first of his big league career. He made a relief appearance against the Yankees earlier this season, giving up two home runs in three innings of work. The long ball continues to be an issue for McCarty, as the Rangers tagged him for three home runs. He surrendered eight hits and five runs, four of them earned, over four innings.
The unearned run was courtesy of an error by Ernie Clement at second base. With runners on first and second and one out in the second inning, Charlie Culberson grounded a double play ball to Jose Ramirez at third. Ramirez threw to Clement, who got the out at second but threw the ball in the dirt on the throw to first. The ball bounced up and over Owen Miller’s glove and went into the visitor’s dugout, allowing Ezequiel Duran to advance across home plate.
Texas starting pitcher Taylor Hearn, who entered the game with a 5.48 ERA and 5.03 FIP, was made to look like an AL Cy Young candidate by the Guardians’ lineup for most of the night. Up until the sixth inning, the left-hander had limited Cleveland to two hits over five shutout innings, tying a season-high with six strikeouts. But to their credit, the Guardians finally seemed to wake up in the sixth inning and went about cutting into the Rangers’ 5-0 lead.
Oscar Mercado got it started with a leadoff double, his second hit of the night against Hearn. Myles Straw followed with a walk, and Amed Rosario broke up the shutout with an RBI single to score Mercado. With runners on first and second and no one out, Ramirez was ahead in the count, 2-0, but swung at Ball 3, popping out to first base. Owen Miller got a hold of a first-pitch changeup but lined out to center, bringing Josh Naylor to the plate with two outs.
After Hearn walked Naylor on five pitches to load the bases, Texas manager Chris Woodward turned to his bullpen, bringing in right-hander Dennis Santana to face Oscar Gonzalez. Gonzalez was down 0-2 in the count but squeezed a chopper through the middle of the infield, plating a pair to cut the Rangers’ lead to 5-3. Andres Gimenez pinch-hit for Clement to try and close the gap further, but he fouled out to third base to end the inning.
Unfortunately, Anthony Gose surrendered a solo home to run Marcus Semien in the eighth inning, affording the Rangers a bit more breathing room with a three-run lead.
Cleveland was held scoreless over the final three frames.