The Adolis Garcia hype train continued uninterrupted Saturday after the Texas Rangers’ rookie center fielder clubbed two home runs for his second consecutive multi-hit, multi-RBI game against the visiting Houston Astros on Saturday. The two teams will meet again Sunday in the series finale in Arlington, Texas.
Garcia belted his 13th and 14th home runs of the season, the latter dinger pulling the Rangers even at 4-4 and igniting a five-run seventh inning that yielded an 8-4 win and series victory over an Astros team that entered the weekend having won eight of nine games.
The Rangers have spoken frequently about utilizing their energy to overcome their relative lack of experience, and Garcia has provided plenty. His enthusiasm when catcher Jose Trevino hit a two-run double in the seventh that gave Texas the lead for good reflected Texas’ philosophy.
“When you’re focused as a team to win and to do the things that we’re asked to do, I feel the same as my teammate, I feel that energy my teammates promote when they get a hit,” said Garcia, who has 14 home runs, trailing only Atlanta’s Ronald Acuna Jr for the MLB lead. “I feel as if I got the hit.”
Right-hander Mike Foltynewicz (1-4, 5.18 ERA) will get the starting assignment Sunday as the Rangers pursue a series sweep. He is 1-1 with a 4.96 ERA over his past six starts after allowing five runs on seven hits and one walk over 3 2/3 innings against the New York Yankees in what was his shortest outing this season.
Foltynewicz faced the Astros, his original organization, for the first time in his career on May 13 and allowed three runs on eight hits and three walks with three strikeouts over five innings in Texas’ 4-3 loss.
Right-hander Cristian Javier (3-1, 3.27 ERA) will start for Houston. He allowed three runs on five hits and one walk with a career-high-tying nine strikeouts over six innings but did not factor into the decision in the Astros’ 6-5 loss to the Oakland Athletics on May 18. He allowed three runs on four hits and two walks with six strikeouts over seven innings in his previous appearance this season against the Rangers, against whom he is 2-0 with a 3.26 ERA over three career starts.
The Astros continue to search for solutions within their beleaguered bullpen. After starter Lance McCullers Jr. labored through five innings Saturday, including a 40-pitch first inning, the Astros cycled through four relievers after using six in the series opener Friday and five in the series finale in Oakland on Thursday. Houston starters totaled 14 2/3 innings in those three games.
Right-hander Andre Scrubb, who worked the ninth inning in Oakland on Thursday, took the loss after allowing two runs in the Rangers’ five-run seventh. The wheels came off when right-hander Enoli Paredes entered. He gave up one hit and walked two, but a pair of Houston errors resulted in Texas scoring three unearned runs.
Given the recent workload, Astros manager Dusty Baker tried to stay away from right-hander Bryan Abreu, the loser in relief on Friday, and lefties Kent Emanuel and Brooks Raley. The results proved unfavorable once again.
“We were scuffling the whole game trying to mix and match and use the part of the bullpen that was rested,” Baker said.
“It’s real tough but nobody feels sorry for you so you can’t feel sorry for yourself. We’ve shot ourselves in the foot a few times, especially with the base on balls at the wrong time.”
–Field Level Media