Texas Rangers: Bats Come Alive, But Bullpen Collapses Late

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Apr 7, 2017; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers pitching coach Doug Brocail (46) visits relief pitcher Alex Claudio (58) and catcher Jonathan Lucroy (25) on the mound during a game against the Oakland Athletics at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 7, 2017; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers pitching coach Doug Brocail (46) visits relief pitcher Alex Claudio (58) and catcher Jonathan Lucroy (25) on the mound during a game against the Oakland Athletics at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports /
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It was an odd game for the Rangers, that began with All-Star lefty Cole Hamels being scratched from his start. Lefty Alex Claudio got the start and plenty offense, but it still wasn’t quite enough.

The good news is that the Texas Rangers got some offense and solid start from left-handed reliever Alex Claudio. The Rangers had to scratch Cole Hamels before the game, and Claudio went four innings, allowing for hits and three earned runs.

It was a bullpen night for the Rangers as they were forced to use six relief pitchers including Claudio. The bats came in strong, giving Texas the lead early. They took an early 5-0 lead on four home runs.

The Astros answered with a two-run home run in the 4th, but the Rangers led 5-2 going into the 5th inning. Rangers fans had to feel good that the bats were finally clicking and scoring their starters some runs.

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Sadly for the Rangers the bullpen was asked to do too much. It’s hard to expect the bullpen to pitch an entire game. They received scoreless innings from Jose Leclerc, Sam Dyson, and Dario Alvarez.

The 8th inning is where it began to get ugly for the Rangers. Relief pitcher Keone Kela looked like he was about to tight rope out of danger until Marwin Gonzalez hit a grand slam. By the time the inning was over the Astros were leading 8-5.

The Rangers didn’t give up! In the 9th inning outfielder Nomar Mazara hit a two-run home run to cut the Astros lead to one run. Sadly, it was not enough as the tying run got to third base, but failed to score. It was a frustrating game for Rangers fans, but at least the bats are finally coming alive.

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