Taking up the slack.

Jonah Heim connects on a two-RBI single in the top of the 12th to win the game for the Rangers.

The last time the Rangers won a series on the Southside of Chicago was 2014. Very little else went right for the Rangers that year but they did win four out of six games that year against the White Sox. One of the games was 16-0. Colby Lewis threw a complete game shutout that day. Adrian Beltre and Shin-Soo Choo homered.

Cut to eight years later and the Rangers finally took a series there again with the likes of Eli White, Ezequiel Duran, Kolby Allard and Jonah Heim.

The names you might have expected never showed up. Both Marcus Semien and Corey Seager went 2-for-14. They are now clogging up the top of the Rangers lineup at .217 and .218. Thankfully, there were plenty of other Rangers who did deliver.

That’s what it’s going to take. A team effort. The top two guys have pretty much taken the 2022 season off. So it’s going to come down to others to step in. 

Ezequiel Duran is doing just that. He skipped Triple-A and landed in Arlington. In his eight major league games, he doesn’t seem phased by anything. Ten hits in thirty-two at-bats. And he’s playing great defense.

Duran, along with Josh Smith and Justin Foscue were the stockpiling of quality middle infielders the Rangers had ready to be the next generation. 

So, what did they do? They go and sign two major leaguers to long-term contracts at those positions. 

Eventually, Semien and Seager will hit. They are bona fide major league hitters with resumes of success. It might not be this month or next month or this year. 

Until they do, it will be fun to watch Duran and Smith, when he comes back, develop and thrive in the big leagues. 

Because if the two millionaire-contracts are going to be unproductive, it’s up to the rank and file to get it done. Like they did in Chicago.

Houston won’t be so easy.