The Texas Rangers failed to capitalize on two big wins against the Yankees and dropped the series opener against the Kansas City Royals, 8-2 on Thursday.
The Texas Rangers had a big opportunity to start trending in a positive direction after two big wins over the New York Yankees. Then Danny Duffy and the Kansas City Royals came to town and thoroughly shut Texas down. Texas struggled in all facets of the game dropping the series opener 8-2. Here’s our one big takeaway from Thursday’s game.
We’re Watching Our New Third Baseman
There was plenty of negative to focus on tonight but the aspect of the game that stood out to me most was how solid Isiah Kiner-Falefa looked at third base. Kiner-Falefa has gotten his fair share of starts at third this season with the injuries to Adrian Beltre. What’s been impressive and encouraging is the increasing comfort he’s shown at the position.
At the plate, it’s been pretty obvious so far that Kiner-Falefa has the ability. Isiah is hitting .260 in 36 games this season. His impressive .336 on-base percentage has also solidified him as one of the more consistent players in the order. He shows night in and night out that he will find a way to get on base and when the Ranger offense has been at it’s best, he’s been a big contributor.
Defensively, Kiner-Falefa made a few plays tonight that showed he has the ability to be a starting third baseman. In fact the barehand play he made early in the game looked straight out of Beltre’s repertoire. Kiner-Falefa’s ability coupled with him being just 23 years old is a strong indicator that Texas will look to utilize him in the long term. Not to mention, Adrian Beltre is one of the names being floated as a trade candidate.
The Rangers started Austin Bibens-Dirkx Thursday against the Royals. He pitched fairly well early on but caught a bad break when a single with a runner at first turned into two runs off of a Delino DeShields error in center field. The bats never came alive tonight either. Texas wasn’t able to score a run until the 8th inning and tacked on a second one in the 9th. The Royals scored 8 runs in the game 4 of which came off two Salvador Perez, bases loaded singles.
Salvador Perez (KC) 2-4, 4 RBI
Ramon Torres (KC) 2-3, 3 R
Isiah Kiner-Falefa (TEX) 1-3, 2B, BB
Joey Gallo (TEX) 1-3, 2B, R, SO
WP: Danny Duffy (2-6) 7.2 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 5 SO
LP: Austin Bibens-Dirkx (0-1) 6.1 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 6 SO
The series between the Rangers and Royals will continue tomorrow at 7:05 CT. Texas is expected to send Mike Minor to the mound.