A Rangers homerun barrage was on display in the borough of Queens on Saturday in New York, as three Texas sluggers accounted for four long balls to pace the boys in red, white, and blue to a 7-3 victory, snapping a three-game tailspin.
Trailing 2-0 in the second — following an uncanny two-run homer yielded by Ranger’s ace Martin Perez — Kole Calhoun belted his ninth homer of the season with Adolis Garcia and Mitch Garver already on base to give Texas a 3-2 lead.
Jonah Hiem followed Calhoun to the dish and swatted his eleventh homer of the season, which ties him with the AL lead in homers for a catcher with the Royals. Salvador Perez (Perez has 34 more plate appearances in 2022.)
“I was just trying to shorten my stride a little bit and open up,” Heim told MLB.com of his blast. “Last year, I was diving across and cutting across a little bit. I made a couple adjustments today, specifically, and they worked out, so I’m happy to get on board again and hopefully build from there.”
Texas would never trail again, and Perez tossed 6.2 innings, allowing three earned runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out four. Perez ran his record on the season to 7-2 and sank his ERA to 2.34 in the win. Perez’s seventh win ranks him in the top 10 in victories in the American League, and his ERA ranks him fourth behind Shane McClanahan (Tampa, 1.74), Justin Verlander (Houston, 2.03), and Alex Manoah (Toronto, 2.09.)
Calhoun added his second homer (and fourth RBI) of the game in the fourth inning to extend the Ranger’s Dennis Santana ear lead to 5-2. Corey Seager hit a single to left to score Josh H. Smith in the eighth, and 23-year-old Leody Taveras spanked an 81.9 MPH curveball into left-center for his second homer of the season.
Dennis Santana earned hold number 13 on the year after retiring five-of-six batters as he followed Perez on the mound, and Joe Barlow closed out the contest pitching a scoreless bottom nine.
The win moves the Rangers to 37-39, 12.5 games behind first-place Houston (50-27) in the AL West, which has won five games straight. The second-place Rangers are ahead of Seattle by a game and ahead of the Angels by two games.
Game three of the three-game set against the Mets is scheduled for 12:40 p.m. CDT with probable pitchers Jon Gray (4-3, 3.89) for Texas and Carlos Carrasco (8-4, 4.48) on the hill for the Mets. (Carrasco’s eight victories rank him in a tie for fourth best in the NL.)