Admit it. After the third inning, once Jon Gray gave up two, two-run homers, and the Rangers had already stranded two runners on at first with one out and a leadoff double in the third, you were thinking, here we go again. It was only natural. You do not have to turn in your Rangers Fan card. June was not good for this team.
Then something wonderful happened.
The 2023 Texas Rangers showed up. Even though Texas scored two in the bottom of the fourth, that, again, was starting to seem like too little too late.
Even when they scored a third run in the bottom of the sixth, they had bases loaded with one out and couldn’t tie the game, a reoccurring theme throughout much of June and early July.
Then it happened. The Rangers signature move returned: the five-run inning. Highlighted by a ton of consecutive hits. A ton of two-strike hits.
Walk, double, single, single, double, walk, single. Five runs, and it should have been more because the Guardians threw Travis Jankowski out at home on a play when their catcher Bo Naylor was clearly blocking the plate. That rule is applied so unevenly you wonder why they even have it or if they even know what the rule really is.
Not content with the five-run inning, the Rangers came right back with a four-spot in the bottom of the eighth. Once again, they were in double-digits. The offense was back. Winning was back.
Twelve runs. Seventeen hits. Four doubles. Four home runs. Even a rare-for-the-Rangers stolen base.
Even rarer, the bullpen went three scoreless innings.
They have a brutal twelve games to start the season. Twelve games that define who the Rangers are. Last night was a wonderful beginning to that. A wonderful beginning to the second half.