It wasn’t pretty. But they don’t all have to be.
Jon Gray ran the Rangers rotation’s win streak to five in a row. It wasn’t pretty at all.
He got down 5-0 after for innings. His control wasn’t really on from the very beginning, walking two in the first, then leaving the ball where it could be hit. And hit. And hit. He gave up three in the third, then two more in the fourth.
Those two fourth-inning runs, however, were unearned due to a Marcus Semien error to start the inning. But Gray giving up a single and a double after that certainly didn’t do himself any favors.
But like they have done so many times at home lately, the Rangers offense came alive in the bottom of the fourth.
From there, it became a great game that ended up closer than it should have.
An unlikely three-run homer from Robbie Grossman made it 5-3.
Next inning, a Corey Seager two-run shot tied it, then a Josh Jung two-run shot put the Rangers ahead for good, bailing out Gray and allowing him to squeak by with the win.
All a starter has to do is go five innings. Gray lasted 5.1. He struck out the first Marlin in the sixth, then was lifted for Brock Burke, who gave up a homer to make it 7-6.
The Rangers got one more in the seventh. Then one more in the eighth.
They’d need both of those insurance runs. Because there’s always the Rangers bullpen.
Will Smith was wobbly in the ninth, giving up a two-run homer with one out before he finally closed out the 9-8 victory.
It was ugly all around.
The starting pitcher gets the win despite giving up five runs. The closer gets the save despite giving up two runs.
But with the Astros losing earlier in the day to the Yankees, the Rangers will take ugly.
Five wins in a row is a beautiful thing.