Texas Rangers

Rangers Reaction: A marathon win and a new face in the rotation

Matt Moore, who struggled in his latest start Friday against the Chicago White Sox, was placed on the disabled list with right knee soreness, May 19, 2018.
Matt Moore, who struggled in his latest start Friday against the Chicago White Sox, was placed on the disabled list with right knee soreness, May 19, 2018. Associated Press

The Texas Rangers and Chicago White Sox had a marathon game Friday night, lasting 3 hours, 52 minutes.

At least the Rangers exited with a 12-5 victory. Let’s jump right into some reaction –

1. Welcome sight. Count yours truly among those eager to see what Ariel Jurado can do in his big-league debut Saturday. After watching Matt Moore struggle for 3 2/3 innings Friday and Doug Fister lose despite throwing seven scoreless innings Thursday, it’ll be nice to have a new face in the rotation.

And Jurado deserves the start. He’s pitched well at Double A Frisco, posting a 2.57 ERA in six starts with 18 strikeouts and eight walks. Expect Jurado to try and induce plenty of groundouts with his sinking fastball that sits in the 88-92 mph range.

Jurado will become the 61st player from Panama to play in the majors.

2. Hello, offense. The Rangers scored a season-high 12 runs on Friday. Four of those came on a grand slam by Shin-Soo Choo in the third inning, the fourth of his career. Choo also snapped a 24-game home run drought.

"Everybody loves a grand slam, right?” Choo said. “We had a tough loss last night, tough weather tonight, long game, I think everybody did a great job tonight."

Choo recalled his first career grand slam on Aug. 3, 2006. As a member of the Cleveland Indians, Choo took then-Boston Red Sox starter Josh Beckett deep in an Indians’ 7-6 victory.

"A long time ago," Choo said, smiling.

Choo led the team with four RBIs. Jurickson Profar and Joey Gallo each had three.

The Rangers opened the game by scoring 3-1-5 runs in the first three innings. It’s the first time they’ve scored in each of the opening three innings this season. The last time they accomplished that feat was Sept. 4, 2017 at Atlanta.

3. Shutdown ‘pen. Reliever Jesse Chavez allowed both inherited runners to score in the fourth, but settled into a zone after that.

He pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings and earned his second win of the season. Manager Jeff Banister felt Chavez pitched well on a night that Moore couldn’t make it through four innings despite the Rangers leading 9-3.

The relievers that followed Chavez continued that trend, too. Alex Claudio allowed one hit over 1 2/3 scoreless innings, and Tony Barnette had three strikeouts in the ninth to end it.

4. Aggie addition. The Rangers signed Cliff Pennington to a minor-league contract on Friday, assigning him to Triple A Round Rock. Pennington had a standout career at Texas A&M, and has played in 971 major league games with five teams.

Pennington was with the Cincinnati Reds to start this season, but struggled mightily. He batted just .138 with no extra-base hits in 29 at-bats.

5. Bad baseball. I’ve seen some forgettable baseball in my life, but I’m not sure you can draw up a worse start to a game than Friday.

White Sox starter Carson Fulmer’s first pitch struck Delino DeShields in the arm, and he proceeded to walk Choo on four pitches. Fulmer didn’t have a called strike until his 11th pitch and needed 31 pitches to get through the first inning.

Moore wasn’t much better in the opening inning, surrendering two runs on four hits.

The first inning took 35 minutes to complete.