Rangers look for turnaround vs. also-struggling Nationals

Rangers look for turnaround vs. also-struggling Nationals


The slumping Texas Rangers travel to Washington this weekend to face a Nationals team that too often has been making visitors feel welcome

Washington is following up a successful 6-3 road trip with yet another bad homestand. The Nationals lost a late lead Thursday and were defeated 5-4 in 10 innings as the Cincinnati Reds completed a four-game sweep

A respectable 21-22 on the road, the Nationals are 13-31 at home, including 1-14 in their last 15

On a day when starter MacKenzie Gore was done in the second inning due to a lengthy rain delay, Washington needed a lot of relief help. The Nationals led 3-2 before the Reds tied it in the seventh against Kyle Finnegan and won it in the 10th versus Hunter Harvey, taking advantage of the usually reliable back-end tandem

“(The rest of the bullpen) kept us in the game,” Harvey said. “The back end, we didn’t do our job today. And it’s what happens.”

The Nationals almost pulled it out. With the score tied in the ninth, Washington’s Riley Adams doubled to right center with one out, but right fielder Nick Senzel made a jumping catch at the wall to rob CJ Abrams of a likely game-ending double. Senzel then hit the go-ahead homer in the 10th

Manager Dave Martinez said he thought Abrams had ended the game, but Senzel “made a nice catch. And then he comes up and hits a big homer for them. But CJ did a good job, hitting the ball hard like that.”

The Rangers, leaders of the American League West, have lost six of eight as they approach the All-Star break

On Thursday, four Texas relievers pitched in the a seventh inning that saw Red Sox score six runs as Boston rallied for a 10-6 win.

Texas rookie left-hander Cody Bradford (0-1, 4.98 ERA) opposes right-hander Trevor Williams (5-4, 4.34) in Friday’s series opener.

Bradford will be making his fifth start and seventh appearance, replacing Martin Perez, who is getting pushed back until after the All-Star break. In his last start, which came Monday against the Houston Astros, Perez (7-3, 4.81 ERA) allowed six earned runs on six hits (including three home runs) in a season-low 1 1/3 innings.

“Give him a little break,” manager Bruce Bochy said of Perez, whose season began with the World Baseball Classic. “That’s something we talked about even when he went to the WBC; this is not something shocking. We said, at some point this year, we’d look for a time that we could (give him a break).”

In his past three starts, Bradford has given up six earned runs in 13 2/3 innings while walking five and striking out 16. His most recent start came on June 29, when he gave up three earned runs on four hits and three walks in 4 1/3 innings while striking out eight.

Then on Monday, he tossed 2 1/3 scoreless innings of relief and didn’t allow a hit while striking out four.

The Nationals have not won since Williams’ last start, which came Sunday against the Phillies. He gave up three runs on six hits in five innings

Williams is 2-0 with a 3.60 ERA in his past three starts. He has pitched in and out of trouble, allowing 19 hits — four of them homers — in 15 innings while walking three and striking out nine.

He lost his only prior start against the Rangers. He surrendered five runs in 3 2/3 innings while starting for the New York Mets on July 2 of last year

–Field Level Media


Original source here

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.