Arlington, Texas (AP) — While the Texas Rangers hit 14 times overall, they threw too many pitches at Jack Wheeler, took advantage of an error, and beat the Philadelphia Phillies again.
Brad Miller hit a two-run single against his former team, with two outs after an error in the second, and Cole Calhoun also scored two as Rangers scored a 4-run victory over the Phillies for their ninth consecutive win since 2014. Won by 2. ,
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Rangers manager Chris Woodward said, “I was proud of our offense today, Wheeler threw a lot of pitches, took a lot of work.” “Obviously he punched a lot of people and we got out 14 times. But at the same time, we really had the quality of the bat to score the runs.
Wheeler (6-4) lost for the first time in his last 10 starts since his first three losses this season after finishing second in NL Cy Young Award voting last year. The right-handed batsman scored eight but scored three and conceded four runs (two earned) on seven hits on 99 pitches in 4 1/3 innings.
John Gray (3-3), the opening day starter for Texas, has made his first consecutive start this season. The right-handed batsman conceded a six and conceded two runs and four hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Texas’ third reliever Joe Barlow worked his 13th save on 15 occasions to finish ninth.
Rangers took a 2–0 lead on Miller’s single, which came to some at batsmen after a fielding error by first baseman Rhys Hoskins, and Wheeler already recorded his fifth strike to exit that innings. Josh Smith raced home from first base to get a second ball that wasn’t too hard in the outfield.
“I almost did a little check,” said Smith, who saw third base coach Tony Beasley waving at home.
Miller had earlier made only one hit in his last 17 at-bats. The designated hitter played part of 2019 in Philadelphia, and all previous seasons, before signing a two-year deal with Texas.
While that play fired Woodward, a former third base coach, Phillies interim manager Rob Thomson said Smith could have been held at third base, with center fielder Odubel Herrera hitting right fielder Nick Castellanos with his pace. Instead of letting it do so, he landed the ball. From infield.
“I talked to Odubel about it,” Thomson said.
Kyle Schwarber extended his career-best on-base streak to 26 games for the Phillies, with a two-run homer tied the game for 2 in the third. But Texas went on to stay at the bottom of that innings after Corey Seeger scored on a leadoff double and Calhoun’s one-out single.
The innings could have been even bigger for Rangers, who left the base after Wheeler’s three consecutive batsmen went for full count. The first batsman for a full count was Jonah Heim, who went on a check swing on a play when it appeared Calhoun was thrown out trying to steal second base. Instead of that potentially inning-ending double play, Wheeler had to throw 20 more pitches to get out of the innings.
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“I think it was what it was,” Wheeler said when asked if he thought Heim offered strike three. “I just have to move on after that, and just speed up the innings. … My order was off, took just a little bit as usual.
Philadelphia have lost three games in a row after winning 14 of their first 16 games under Thomson, who replaced the fired Joe Girardi.
“You have to follow the same approach that we did in the first 16 games,” Thomson said. “Just dress up and compete and bring energy every day and keep it there because it’s a good ball club.”
Schwarber’s homer at straight center was his 19th this season. It was his ninth homer in an on-base streak since May 26, when he also made 24 runs, 23 walks and 29 strikeouts. … Bryce Harper returned to the Phillies lineup after losing three games with an infected blister on his left index finger. He was 1 for 3 with a single and a walk. He has reached base in 21 consecutive road games since May 1, all hits except one.
Phillies: RHP Zach Eflin, limited due to an injured right knee on his final start, threw a bullpen session. He is still scheduled to start Saturday in San Diego.
Rangers: Rookie right-hander Glenn Otto may return to the Rangers rotation this weekend after being on a COVID-19-related injury list since June 11. He started a rehab for Triple-A Round Rock on Tuesday night.
Phillies: Their 10-game road trip continues with the opening of a four-game series against right-hander Joe Musgrove (8-0, 1.59 ERA) in San Diego on Thursday night.
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Rangers: After a day between two home series for the first time in a week in the season, the Rangers opened a three-match series Friday night against Harper’s former team, the Washington Nationals.