Every once in a while, Mike Minor is human. And when he is, he needs his offense to show up and bail him out.
A bad day for Minor is three earned runs in five innings. That would be nirvana for most of the other Rangers starters. In fact, he was working on another gem, a four-hit shutout, going until the sixth, when he gave up a three-run homer. But pitch count got him more than the Royals did, and Minor was removed after not retiring any of the four batters in the sixth.
You get used to Minor being dominating. You also get used to the Rangers offense scoring early and often at home.
It didn’t happen. And that happens. The American League’s most potent home offense (six runs per game) managed just two, on five hits. Struck out twelve times. Three by Odor. Two by Gallo. One by everyone else.
It was a total team letdown after the amazing win Wednesday.
It was also the continuation of a weird trend. The Rangers are starting their twentieth series of the year. They have lost the opening game fifteen times.
It’s one of those inexplicable quirks, like a team winning so many one-run games or a team having a winning record but scoring fewer runs than its opponents, all of which are things the Rangers have done. When you try to analyze why, you come to the same conclusion.
Now this eleven-game cruise control homestand starts with an L. No time to panic. A lot of bad teams ahead. The Rangers simply don’t have to be one of them.
Danny Duffy (3-1, 3.12) vs. Ariel Jurado (1-2, 2.28)
Game time: 7:05