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Tuesday, October 4, 2022
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Taveras Plates Five, Rangers Win in 10

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Leody Taveras had a career night at the plate as the Texas Rangers defeated the Houston Astros. | Image by Sports Illustrated

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A base-clearing double from Leody Taveras– with the sacks full of Rangers– lifted the Rangers to an 8-4 victory in Houston last night.

“I am proud of him,” Ranger’s skipper Chris Woodward told MLB.com. “He has come a long way in a short amount of time, and he’s proven to us that I can’t take him out.”

Taveras finished the game with a career-high 5 RBI. The 23-year-old switch-hitter knocked in his first run in the top of the fourth off of Astro Justin Verlander, who came into the contest with a record of 15-3 and is a front runner for this season’s AL Cy Young Award.

Texas chased Verlander from the contest after his six innings of work, and his tale of the tape shows three earned runs on five hits with a walk and seven strikeouts. The 39-year-old, two-time Cy Young winner (2011 and 2019) did not record a decision in the contest.

Glen Otto got the start on the mound for Texas on the night and battled through five innings in which he allowed two earned runs on four hits while yielding four bases on balls and fanned five in five innings of work. Like Verlander, Otto was not around for a decision in the extra-inning affair.

Meibrys Viloria plated Taveras in the fourth to knot the contest at two-all in the fourth, and the ballclubs traded runs over the sixth and seventh innings (Adolis Garcia singled and swiped a bag in the sixth and was cracked home by Taveras on a sac-fly).

Rangers reliever Brock Burke battled through the sixth and seven innings and gave up one hit, a 394-foot shot over the right field fence by Yordan Alvarez, his 31st homer of the season. Burke earned his third blown save of the season with the outing.

Taylor Hearn– the game’s eventual winner, pushing his season mark to 5-6– was recently brought up from AAA Round Rock and inserted into the closer role where he has shined. On Wednesday in Houston, the 27-year-old Royse City native was untouched in his one inning of work, striking out one on his way to victory.

Knotted at three after nine, Texas headed to extra-innings with the phantom runner, Ezequiel Duran, on second base. Josh H. Smith was asked to pinch-hit and bunt Duran to third. In the process, Smith legged out a single to give Texas runners on the corner with no outs.

Jonah Heim then walked in his pinch-hit effort and was replaced with pinch runner Elier Hernandez at first to load the bases.

Marcus Semien hit a sacrifice fly to left field to score Duran and give Texas a 4-3 lead, starting a hit parade.

Corey Seager singled on a sharp ground ball to right to score Smith ahead of a single by Garcia to again load the bases. Two batters later, Taveras doubled (12) on a sharp line drive to center, clearing the bases of Rangers and giving the victors a solid 8-3 lead.

Jonathan Hernandez pitched in his eighth contest of the season in mop-up duties for Texas and allowed one hit and a run while striking out one Astro.

The Texas win puts the Rangers at 49-61 on the year, 21 games behind Houston in the AL West standings with 52 games left this season. The Rangers are currently nine games out of the final AL Wild Card spot though they would have to leapfrog four teams (Tampa Bay, Minnesota, the White Sox, and Boston) for the last playoff spot.   

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