Fri, 29 Sep 2023

Rangers' big win sets up chance to clinch series vs. O's

Field Level Media
27 May 2023, 16:55 GMT+10

The Texas Rangers will look to clinch their third straight series win on Saturday when they seek a second consecutive victory against the host Baltimore Orioles.

Texas pounded the Orioles 12-2 to open the three-game set on Friday, marking the major-league-best 13th time the Rangers scored at least 10 runs in a game this season.

"This is a very dangerous offensive team, and they are scoring a ton of runs," Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde said.

"There hasn't been a real lopsided win or loss for us in a long, long time. We'll flush it and come back [Saturday].

While Robbie Grossman and Leody Taveras each hit a two-run homer, Corey Seager delivered the biggest blow, a grand slam that highlighted an eight-run fourth inning.

Texas' outburst was more than enough for right-hander Jon Gray (5-1), who allowed a run on four hits with eight strikeouts and a walk as the Rangers won for the sixth time in their past seven games.

The Rangers will look to Andrew Heaney (3-3, 4.13 ERA) to keep the momentum going. The left-hander is coming off one of his best starts of the season, when he allowed just one unearned run on six hits with five strikeouts and two walks in six innings of a 13-3 win over the visiting Colorado Rockies on Sunday.

However, Heaney has struggled against the Orioles throughout his career. He's 1-3 with a 9.51 ERA with 15 strikeouts and four walks over 23 2/3 innings. He has surrendered a whopping 12 homers across six appearances, including five starts.

Heaney was rocked by the Orioles when he faced them in his first start this season. He was lit up for seven runs on seven hits, including two homers, with two strikeouts and two walks in just 2 2/3 innings of a 7-2 setback on April 4.

The Orioles, who must beat the Rangers on consecutive days if they're to win their third straight series, counter with Dean Kremer (5-1, 4.61). The right-hander was also impressive in his last start, when he gave up a run on nine hits with seven strikeouts and two walks over 5 1/3 innings of an 8-3 win in 11 innings over the host Toronto Blue Jays.

But Kremer has struggled in his two career starts against the Rangers. He has a 5.79 ERA after lasting just 4 2/3 innings each time -- one last season and one in 2021.

The Rangers received some good news before Friday's game when right-hander Jacob deGrom threw a 31-pitch bullpen session and didn't show any apparent signs of pain.

deGrom, who threw fastballs and breaking pitches, has been on the 15-day injured list since April 29. On that day, he left the game early for the second time in his past three starts, with an MRI indicating inflammation in his right elbow.

"He spun the ball, slider more so than the curveball, threw some changeups. Used his whole arsenal," Texas manager Bruce Bochy said, adding there is no timetable for deGrom's return. "Looked pretty good."

Texas is 6-0 in games started by deGrom (2-0), who has tossed just 30 1/3 innings this season since signing a five-year, $185 million free-agent deal to leave the New York Mets in December.

--Field Level Media

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