Back-to-back shutouts help Texas Rangers to series win over Miami Marlins


The Texas Rangers enjoyed two shutout victories in a row for the first time since 2016 as they took two of three from the Miami Marlins while inching closer to .500.

ARLINGTON, Texas — A series against the floundering Miami Marlins (21-39) perhaps proved to be just what the doctor ordered for the Texas Rangers (29-30), as they were able to follow a winning streak with a series win in South Florida. 

For the first time, really all year, the reigning champions were firing on all cylinders. Even while noting a rough series-opening loss, the Rangers have started to look more like their World Series-winning selves in recent days, which culminated in back-to-back shutouts to earn their first road series win since early May in Oakland. 

This, coupled with some good news about their recovering pitching staff, could potentially set the tone for a happy month of June after a sour turn in May. With around 100 games remaining on the docket, the Rangers are about where they were expected to be while waiting for the reinforcements that are nearing.

  • Game 60: Texas 2, Miami 8 (W: Cronin, 1-2, L: Ureña, 1-5)

  • Game 61: Texas 7, Miami 0 (W: Lorenzen, 3-3, L: Weathers, 3-5)

  • Game 62: Texas 6, Miami 0 (W: Heaney, 2-6, L: Rogers, 1-7)

Southpaw problem solved?

The Rangers traded for Robbie Grossman on May 8 to the team to help solve their problems against left-handed pitching. The switch-hitter, who was a better bat than defender, has extreme splits and they favor matchups against lefties. 

Going into the month of June, Texas was hitting just .233 against lefties. By the time the series in Miami concluded, the Rangers had bumped that to .240. They’re still in the bottom half of the league, but they certainly didn’t seem to have any problems against the four lefties that the Marlins threw at them over the course of the series. 

Texas banged out 17 hits against left-handed pitching from Miami. Grossman, it should be noted, went 3-for-7 in the final two games of the series, both against left-handed starters, and scored two runs while driving in three. 

While that only brings his season slash line up to .204/.336/.255, his slash against lefties is .306/.447/.389 which is exactly why the Rangers wanted him back in the mix.

Different streaks

The home run barrage for Corey Seager ended with eight dingers in eight games. He did not drive any over the wall in the weekend set from loandepot Park, but was able to continue two other streaks. 

By going 6-for-13, Seager extended his hitting streak to 15 games and his on-base streak to 25 games, which is the second longest active streak in the Majors. Marcus Semien also came back from a rare off day and collected hits in each game in this series. 

The Rangers as a team also ended a streak of 14 straight games with a home run, going without a long ball in Saturday’s win. They picked right back up again in the finale, however, with an Adolis Garcia bomb. They have also found themselves in a streak of doubles. A member of the lineup has gotten a two-bagger in seven straight games and Texas is 5-2 in those games. 

Bringing the lumber

It had been 17 games since the Rangers had looked at double digits in their own hit column. On Saturday, with the calendar freshly turning to June, Texas could finally say their bats broke through. 

On Saturday, Texas enjoyed multi-hit performances from Semien, Seager, Grossman, Wyatt Langford and Josh Smith, with backup catcher Andrew Knizner even getting a hit and an RBI. In the finale, Semien, Seager, Grossman and Smith again logged hits, while Garcia provided some power with a homer. 

Pinch hitters Travis Jankowski and Nathaniel Lowe also found some grass and added to the hit total as the Rangers scored 13 runs in the final two games of the series on their way to a couple of blowout wins. The outburst was especially positive for Texas as it came in games started by left-handed pitchers.

Blanking the Fish

In the last two games of the series, the pitching was also a highlight for Texas. The Rangers were able to shut out the Marlins for two straight games to close out the series after Miami had claimed the first game by scoring eight runs in a game started by former Marlin Jose Urena.

Following Urena, however, Michael Lorenzen and Andrew Heaney both turned in phenomenal performances of 6 ⅓ and 6 scoreless innings respectively, with each striking out seven Marlins apiece. The bullpen also turned in dominant performances in both of the wins, particularly Jose Leclerc on Saturday, who struck out all three hitters he faced. Between the Saturday and Sunday games, Rangers pitching struck out 23 Marlins total.

With a couple of series wins under their belts, Texas now heads back home for a series against the Detroit Tigers. There’s a lot of momentum, offensively and defensively, that the Rangers would like to bring with them on the plane; and at least for the first two games in June, things are looking up.

Do you think the Rangers have put their left-handed hitting woes behind them? Share your thoughts with Matt on Twitter @FisherWritesMLB.