Brad Miller hit a two-run single against his former team to triumph over the Phillies for a ninth straight year.
TEXAS, U.S. — While the Texas Rangers struck a total of 14 times, they got Zack Wheeler throwing lots of pitches, capitalizing on a mistake and beating the Philadelphia Phillies again.
Brad Miller hit a two-run single against his former team, with two outs from an error in the second, and Kole Calhoun also drove in two runs as the Rangers won their ninth straight win over the Phillies since 2014, 4-2.
“I was just proud of our offense today, which got Wheeler throwing a lot of pitches and making a lot of counts,” said Rangers manager Chris Woodward. “Obviously he hit a lot of guys and we hit 14 times. But at the same time we had really good bats to get those runs.”
Wheeler (6-4) lost for the first time in his last 10 starts since losing his first three starts this season after finishing second in last year’s NL Cy Young Award voting. The right-hander hit out eight but walked three and gave up four runs (two earned) on seven hits on 99 pitches over 4 1/3 innings.
Jon Gray (3-3), the opening day starter for Texas, has won consecutive starts for the first time this season. The right-hander batted six and walked one while allowing two runs and four hits over 5 2/3 innings.
Joe Barlow, the third Texan assist, worked the ninth for his 13th save in 15 chances.
The Rangers led 2-0 on Miller’s single, which came a couple of batters after a field error from first baseman Rhys Hoskins, and before Wheeler already recorded his fifth strikeout to get out of the inning. Josh Smith sped home from first base for the second run on a ball that wasn’t grounded hard into the outfield.
“I almost checked a bit,” said Smith, who then saw third base coach Tony Beasley wave him home.
Miller previously had just one hit in his previous 17 at-bats. The hitter-designate played part of 2019 in Philadelphia and all of last season there before signing a two-year deal with Texas.
While that game cheered Woodward, a former third-base coach, Phillies interim manager Rob Thomson said Smith likely would have been pinned at third base if center fielder Odubel Herrera had fielded the ball instead of right fielder Nick Castellanos doing so to let do while his momentum waned from infield.
“I spoke 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 that tied the game with 2 in the third. But Texas went ahead to stay at the bottom of that inning after Corey Seager had a leadoff double and hit Calhoun’s one-out single.
That inning could have been even bigger for the Rangers, who left bases loaded after Wheeler made a full count on three consecutive batsmen. The first full-count batter was Jonah Heim, who walked on a checked swing on a play when it appeared Calhoun might have been thrown out trying to steal second base. Instead of that potential double play at the end of the inning, Wheeler had to throw 20 more pitches to get out of the inning.
“I think that was it,” Wheeler said when asked if he felt home would be offered on strike three. “After that, I just have to go ahead and cut the inning faster. … My command was off, I felt a little off in general.
Philadelphia has lost three straight games after winning 14 of its first 16 games under Thomson, who replaced the fired Joe Girardi.
“You have to take the same approach as you did in the first 16 games,” Thomson said. “Just prepare and line up and bring energy every day and put it there because that’s a good ball club.”
Schwarber’s homer to the direct center was his 19th of the season. It was his ninth homer in the on-base streak since May 26, a span in which he also has 24 runs, 23 walks and 29 strikeouts. … Bryce Harper returned to the Phillies lineup after missing three games with an infected blister on his left index finger. He was 1 for 3 with a single and a walk. Since May 1, he has reached base in 21 straight road games, scoring in all but one of them.
Phillies: RHP Zach Eflin, restricted in his last start with a bruised right knee, threw a bullpen session. He is still scheduled to start in San Diego on Saturday.
Rangers: Rookie right-hander Glenn Otto could return to the Rangers rotation this weekend after being on the COVID-19 injury list since June 11. He started a rehab start for Triple-A Round Rock on Tuesday night.
Phillies: Their 10-game road trip continues with the opener of a four-game streak Thursday night in San Diego against right-hander Joe Musgrove (8-0, 1.59 ERA).
Rangers: After a day off between home series for the first time in a week of the season, Rangers open a three-game series against Harper’s former team, the Washington Nationals, on Friday night.
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https://www.fox43.com/article/sports/texas-rangers-beat-philadelphia-phillies-4-2-victory/521-7c6e7eca-1c0d-44e0-b40e-78a03a3bb32e Rangers beat Phillies for 9th time in row with 4-2 victory