Shortly after taking over managerial duties for the Rangers earlier this week, interim skipper Tony Beasley said one of his main focuses for the remainder of the season was to play ball and have fun.
Since making the statement, Texas has departed ways with the team President of Baseball Operation Jon Daniels – shortly after firing manager Chris Woodward – and lost two games to the lowly Oakland Athletics.
On Thursday night, Beasley’s boys bashed the visiting A’s 10-4 and evened the coach’s record to 2-2 for his MLB managerial career.
“Yeah, today it was fun,” Beasley admitted after the win. “I mean, I think the whole day was a much more relaxed atmosphere.”
If the day was relaxed, it was just the calm of the storm as the Rangers racked up 10-runs on 10-hits for a 10-3 victory at Globe Life Field, salvaging a 2-2 series split with the A’s.
Dane Dunning was on the hill for the Rangers, and a rocky fourth inning left the two teams tied at two. Dunning, however, was on-point for his next two innings and, all told, allowed two earned runs on four hits (one a homer) while walking three and fanning four. Dunning moved his record to 3-6 on the season and lowered his ERA to 4.06.
With Dunning dealing on the mound, the Rangers bats awakened.
Mark Mathias – who came to Texas as part of the deal that sent Ranger reliever Matt Bush to Milwaukie – hit his second homer of the season in the bottom of the second, lifting the Rangers to an early 2-0 lead.
Sheldon Neuse hit a 2-run homer off Dunning in the fourth to even the score 2-2.
A’s starting pitcher Zach Logue popped Nathaniel Lowe with a 90.7 mph fastball giving the Ranger’s first baseman a free pass to first in the bottom of the fourth, and Adolis Garcia worked his way on base after another Logue walk.
Jonah Heim slapped a single to center, scoring Lowe, giving the Rangers back the lead at 3-2, and Texas would never trail again as the hit parade commenced. Leody Taveras popped a sac fly to right, plating Garcia and Texas exited the fourth with a 4-2 lead.
Texas would light up the scoreboard in three of the following four innings – including Lowe’s 17th dinger of the season, a three-run shot – on their way to the 10-3 victory. This was the first time Texas has scored double-digits this season since last doing so in a win against Oakland on July 24 in an 11-8 affair.
Three Rangers would walk away with multi-hit games as Mathias and Bubba Thompson both batted 2-for-4 in the win, and Heim was 2-for-3 with two RBI.
Three Rangers relievers (Brett Martin, Matt Moore, and José Leclerc) combined to finish the final three frames allowing one hit and one earned run (both on Martin) while walking one and striking out five.
The Rangers (53-65) will travel to the Twin Cities on Friday, facing a four-game series against Minnesota (61-55).
Rangers pitching ace Martín Pérez – who celebrated his 10th year in MLB on Thursday – will get the start in Minnesota looking for his 10th win of the season on Friday. Dylan Bundy (6-5, 4.76) will be on the mound for the Twins for the contest at Target Field, with the opening pitch slated for 7:10 p.m.