Rangers aim for split of 2-game set with Brewers
The Texas Rangers couldn't hold their ground against a sub .500 opponent and look to start a new winning streak Wednesday in the finale of a brief two-game set versus the Milwaukee Brewers in Arlington.
After defeating the likes of the LA Angels and Houston Astros during a season- high eight-game winning streak, the Rangers were dealt a 5-1 defeat Tuesday at the hands of the visiting Brewers in the opener of an eight-game homestand.
Alexi Ogando struggled in his start and was reached for four runs and six hits in 6 1/3 innings to absorb the loss. Ogando was drilled for three home runs as well, including two to Scooter Gennett.
"One was supposed to be a heater away, the other a changeup, and they both ended up down and in, right into his power," Rangers catcher A.J. Pierzynski said of Gennett's blasts. "He didn't miss it. I'm sure it's a night he'll remember for a long time."
Mitch Moreland provided the scoring for Texas with a solo home run in the third inning to tie the game at 1-1. Moreland and Leonys Martin had two hits apiece for Texas, which still leads the AL West by a game ahead of Oakland and is 13-2 in the past 15 contests. Texas was 19 games over .500 entering the game and had won four in a row in Arlington.
The Rangers will also entertain Seattle and Houston on this homestand and hope Matt Garza can help them earn a split with Milwaukee Wednesday night. Garza is 2-1 with a 3.38 earned run average in four starts with Texas after coming over from the Chicago Cubs in a trade. Garza was 6-1 in 11 starts with Chicago.
The right-hander picked up a win in last Friday's 9-5 decision at Houston and allowed four runs in seven innings. Garza, who rebounded from a loss at Oakland on Aug. 3, struck out eight Astros and allowed one walk for a second consecutive outing. He is 4-1 with a 3.73 ERA in seven career starts against the Brewers and beat them back on June 27 with 10 K's over seven innings of one-run ball.
Milwaukee won for the sixth time in nine tries with Tuesday's improbable win over the red-hot Rangers. Gennett's power and a solo homer from Khris Davis propelled the Brewers, who got a decent start from Marco Estrada.
Estrada delivered six innings of one-run ball and four relievers kept Texas off the board the rest of the way. Jim Henderson worked 1 1/3 innings of relief for his 17th save.
"A really nice outing," Brewers skipper Ron Roenicke said of Estrada. "He comes out, commands the ball, keeps it down, his changeup was really good, he threw some nice curveballs, got in a little bit of trouble -- not that much -- then he ran out of gas. He did a real nice job."
The Brewers activated third baseman Aramis Ramirez off the 15-day DL prior to the game. Ramirez, who was sidelined with a left knee injury, went 0-for-3 before leaving the game in the bottom of the sixth.
After this nine-game road trip (5-3), the Brewers will return to Miller Park for seven games versus Cincinnati and St. Louis.
Tyler Thornburg draws the start for Milwaukee Wednesday and he is 1-0 with a 1.72 earned run average in nine games (2 starts). Thornburg tossed a scoreless inning of relief in Saturday's 10-0 pounding at Seattle and has never faced Texas in his short career.
The right-hander hasn't given up a run in three straight appearances.
Milwaukee and Texas split a pair of matchups at Miller Park in early May and are meeting in the Lone Star State for the first time since 2007, when the Rangers won two of the three encounters.