The Texas Rangers (5-7) put together back-to-back wins for the second time this season, shutting out the Tampa Bay Rays (5-7) on Wednesday night by a score of 5-1.
Offseason acquisition Kohei Arihara had the best start of his young career, earning his first big league win. His 5 2/3 scoreless innings and five strikeouts were new career-highs for the Japanese-born right-hander, as he worked through the Tampa Bay lineup very efficiently.
Arihara showed some mettle in the second inning after getting into a jam. He allowed back-to-back hits to lead off the inning, putting runners on second and third with nobody out (with an assist by poor baserunning by Tampa Bay's Yandy Díaz). Arihara bore down and retired the next three hitters with a pop up and back-to-back strikeouts.
Nate Lowe provided an early lead with a line drive solo home run in the second inning, his fourth blast of the season. The Rangers clung to the one-run lead for several innings as Texas lineup was held at bay by Tampa Bay starter Josh Fleming and reliever Chris Mazza. The bats finally broke through in the seventh inning.
David Dahl provided some huge insurance with a two-out, two-run double off Mazza to extend the lead to 3-0. After an intentional walk of Joey Gallo, Adolis García showed exactly why manager Chris Woodward is so excited about him.
García drove a ball to the wall in right-center field that hit the top of the wall and bounced back into play. While some thought it may have been a home run, García hustled around the bases as the Rays defense played as if it wasn't. García dove head-first at home plate and appeared to get his hand in before the tag, which would have been an inside-the-park homer.
The Rays challenged the play, and after a lengthy delay, the call was controversially reversed. While it still drove in two runs and was García's first career triple, the call took away his first career home run.