The Dodgers and Rangers, the two western division heavyweights, put on quite a back-and-forth battle Friday evening at Globe Life Field in Arlington. The Dodgers’ offense got to the Texas bullpen for seven runs in the final three frames to edge the Rangers out 11-5 in the series opener.
Rangers Comin’ In Red Hot
The Rangers brought a six-game winning streak into the three-game set against the Dodgers. Before their 6-5 loss to the Dodgers, the Rangers were the only team in MLB to go undefeated after the All-Star Break.
Tony Gonsolin fell behind with poor fastball command early in the first inning. The Rangers’ deep lineup made the cat man work to a tune of 25 pitches. After Gonsolin walked old friend Corey Seager, Nathaniel Lowe muscled an opposite field two-run home run over the left field wall.
The Dodgers didn’t muster a base hit off old friend Andrew Heaney until the third inning. Miguel Rojas drew a leadoff walk, and Yonny Hernandez poked a single to left.
Freddie Freeman tied the game with a two-RBI double - his 35th double of the season - that rolled all the way to the wall.
J.D. Martinez put the Dodgers in front 3-2 with a single to left field, but he was thrown out at second base in an attempt to stretch it out to a double. Nevertheless, the Dodgers took the upper hand in Texas with another two-out hit.
Dodgers Go Dancing in Arlington
Wake up, new celebration just dropped. pic.twitter.com/vgPCsnxsNB— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) July 22, 2023
Gonsolin settled down and struck out four straight at one point and set down eight in a row after Lowe’s long ball. Lowe was the rally starter in the home half of the fourth with the leadoff walk. Adolis Garcia doubled over Chris Taylor’s head in left, and Josh Jung walked to load the bases with nobody out.
The Rangers took back the lead 4-3 on consecutive sacrifice flies including a bomb hit by Jonah Heim that was luckily caught up to by Mookie Betts, in right field for the first time since early July. Will Smith gunned down Jung on a steal attempt to end the inning and contain the damage to two runs.
Freeman tied up the game, again, with a solo home run off Heaney in the top of the fifth.
DeLuca Dazzles Defensively
The bottom of the fifth inning belonged to Mr. Jonny DeLuca who made back-to-back highlight reel catches to prevent multiple runs and preserve the 4-4 tie. First, DeLuca made a diving catch to rob Leody Tavera of extra bases. Then, Jonny climbed the ladder over the center field wall to steal a home run from Marcus Semien.
Corey Seager didn’t miss the hanging breaking ball from Alex Vesia in the sixth to break the tie and give the Rangers back the lead.
The Dodgers loaded the bases with nobody out in the top of the seventh thanks to an intentional walk to the go-ahead run in Freeman. A bases-loaded walk from Martinez tied the game back up again. Max Muncy, who’s had an abysmal season at the plate, hustled down the line to break up the double play and score a tie-breaking run in the process.
The Dodgers got some much-needed insurance in the top of the eighth of a beleaguered Texas bullpen. Will Smith drove in a pair of two-out runs with a clutch double to center. Martinez singled in the third run of the game to make it 9-5 Dodgers.
The Rangers loaded the bases, again, in the eighth against Caleb Ferguson with one out which spurred Dave Roberts to get Evan Phillips up in the bullpen. Lowe made a major mistake on the base path to double himself up on a Jung flyout between second and third. He was like a sitting duck.
The Dodgers tacked on another two runs on a booming double to center field, and the Dodgers took a commanding 11-5 lead and the win to snap the Rangers’ winning streak at six. The victory ensures a winning road trip, and the Boys in Blue will now go for their third-straight series win since the All-Star Break on Saturday.
Home runs: Nathaniel Lowe (11), Freddie Freeman (18), Corey Seager (15)
WP — Ryan Brasier (2-0): 2⁄3 IP, 1 BB
LP — Alex Speas (0-1): 0 IP, 1 hit, 2 runs, 3 walks
Bobby Miller (5-1, 4.25, 4.05 xFIP) gets the ball for the Dodgers in the middle game. Dane Dunning (8-2, 2.82 ERA, 4.64 xFIP) toes the rubber for Texas. First pitch is at (1:05 p.m. PT, SportsNet LA).