Texas Rangers

Texas Rangers: Choo was available, but Gallo hit in seventh. Here's why.

Mike Minor allowed a two-run homer in the first inning Monday night and little else over the next 4 1/3 innings. He wanted a chance to pitch longer.
Mike Minor allowed a two-run homer in the first inning Monday night and little else over the next 4 1/3 innings. He wanted a chance to pitch longer. The Associated Press

The natives here were sweating Monday, and it had nothing to do with their beloved Boston Red Sox's game against the Texas Rangers.

Temperatures shot to 90 degrees, with more heat expected Tuesday. That what was causing the sweat.

The visitors, though, thought it was beautiful weather day as they walked around Fenway Park. Even the Rangers coaches and players who worked out on the field in mid-afternoon found no reason to complain.

It was warm, borderline hot, but it wasn't Arlington hot.

By the time the opener of a three-game series ended, it was chilly.

Kind of like the Rangers' bats.

Here's some Rangers Reaction from a 5-0 loss.

Texas Rangers designated hitter Shin-Soo Choo is the first Korean-born position player to earn an All-Star nod.

1. The Rangers' offense has been clicking since June 10 in large part because the hitters have been better the runners in scoring position.

They entered Monday batting .285 in those situations over the past 24 games, and that's after a 2-for-21 over four games at Detroit.

That skid was extended against the Red Sox, as the Rangers went 0-for-5 with a runner at second and/or third. None was bigger than Joey Gallo's miss in the seventh inning.

Robinson Chirinos had just tripled to start things, and Gallo batted for Ryan Rua. Gallo struck out, and Delino DeShields and Elvis Andrus bounced out to kill the threat.

Afterward, manager Jeff Banister was asked if he considered Shin-Soo Choo, the Rangers' lone All-Star who was out of the starting lineup to rest his strained quadriceps. He is also the owner of a 47-game on-base streak and would get only one crack to keep it alive if asked to pinch-hit.

The on-base streak, as Choo and Banister have stated in the past, is not as important as trying to win a game.

The injury was the deciding factor. Choo isn't ready to play defense.

"I did," Banister said. "I could have gone a couple different directions, however it's a multi-player move in that situation."

Another factor?

"We need for Joey to be able to hit for us in that spot," Banister said. "We showed confidence in Joe. It's a growing process for him as well to be able to go up in that spot and put together an at-bat."

Gallo is batting .187 — he also lined into the shift for the last out of the game — and is 5 for 30 in the past 10 games and 6 for 56 in the past 18 games. If not for former Rangers first baseman Chris Davis, Gallo would have the lowest qualifying average in the American League.

The Rangers need him to make contact there and going forward. He knows it and wants it more than they do.

They love the power, obviously, and the athletic ability. They like how he can draw walks. He wasn't the only batter with a chance to do something to get Chirinos home.

But Gallo's inability to make contact, be it a grounder to second or a fly ball, made it that much tougher on DeShields and Andrus. And, as it turned, the Rangers.

Jeff Banister is the fastest manager to 300 wins in Rangers' history

2. Mike Minor allowed a two-run homer to Steve Pearce with two outs in the first inning and then pretty much nothing else. He exited after 5 1/3 innings and 93 pitches as the Rangers appeared to be going batter to batter with him.

A Pearce single brought Banister out of the dugout.

The pitching change also added to Minor's frustrations. He's tired of the Rangers continuing to use kid gloves with him as he transitions back to starting in the majors for the first time since 2014.

Their intentions are solid, but Minor wants to be unshackled.

"I feel fine," he said after his 17th start of the season. "It's just more frustrating right now that I feel like I'm being harnessed back a lot, even when the pitch counts are low. It's kind of hard to get through five, six or seven innings with 90 pitches or under."

It sounds like he and Rangers brass need to clarify things.

"I don't know if I understand the process," said Minor, who has logged 96 2/3 innings. "I see the process of what's happening. I don't know if it's been explained to me besides that they're trying to protect me. I don't know what their plans are.

"I know we've talked about it, and a couple guys have asked me about innings limits and stuff like that. But they haven't approached me and told me anything like that, but there's obviously a pitch count limit, too.

Rangers manager Jeff Banister said Mike Minor wanted to know why he was coming out after taking a perfect game into the seventh.

"I think they know that it's frustrating for me."

Banister said that the Rangers are pleased with how Minor has performed and they will continue to use him in the rotation "until we make a decision, if that decision comes up that he's come to the innings count."

So, apparently there is a count. Maybe it's 150 innings, which would cover eight to 10 more starts and leave Minor shut down for most of September. Maybe it's 160. Whatever it is, it's a thing.

Minor deserves to know.

3. Considering he had been on an airplane about six hours earlier and started his day three time zones away, Cory Gearrin pitched quite nicely in his first appearance since being acquired Sunday by the Rangers.

He was the first man up in the bullpen in relief of Minor, and Gearrin retired all five hitters he faced.

He kept the Rangers in the game as they missed that chance in the seventh and right until the Red Sox broke the game open on a three-run homer by J.D. Martinez off Jesse Chavez in the eighth.

"Being my first time here, you definitely come into it wanting to let people know who you are and what you're about, and you want to go out and make a good first impression," Gearrin said. "Besides that, once you're out on the field, you've done it so many times, it's the same game.

"So, it wasn’t anything new, but I was excited to get out there. Anytime you have a first in baseball, it's special, so first time with a new team … I was looking forward to it. I was looking forward to getting out there and showing them."

Gearrin isn't just a throw-in to the deal that will eventually send a player to be named for cash to the San Francisco Giants. Outfielder Austin Jackson was in the deal along with right-handed prospect Jason Bahr, the centerpiece of the trade.

The Rangers will have Gearrin through next season, and he can help them now with all the injuries in the bullpen.

(It's taking every bone in my body to not type Guerin, as in former Dallas Stars star Bill Guerin.)

He said that he was surprised to be traded, a first for him in his career, and he dutifully said he was excited to be joining the last-place Rangers after leaving the in-the-hunt Giants.

His effort Monday backed up what he said about the way he was pitching before the trade — really well. He said that his 4.20 ERA was the result of some bad luck despite making some good pitches, but his recent work is a good representation of who he is.

If first impressions matter, and the rumor is they do, Gearrin will be fine.

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