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Jun 9, 2024 8:13 am

Giants turn to returning Keaton Winn in bid for sweep of Rangers

Keaton Winn

Rookie right-hander Keaton Winn will be activated off the 15-day injured list on Sunday afternoon to make the start as the San Francisco Giants try to complete a three-game series sweep of the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas.

Winn (3-6, 6.17 ERA) sparkled in April by compiling a 3-3 record and 3.18 ERA in six starts. But he struggled mightily in three starts in May, losing all three and while allowing 17 runs on 17 hits in just 8 1/3 innings for an 18.36 ERA. He then went on the injured list with a right forearm strain.

Winn’s most recent start came in a 10-2 loss against the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers on May 14. He allowed five runs on five hits, including a 446-foot home run to Shohei Ohtani, over four innings.

The former fifth-round pick out of Iowa Western Community College will get his first look at a Texas team that has struggled with its offense over the past month. The Rangers have only 10 hits over the first two games of the series and just one extra-base hit, a hustle double by Wyatt Langford.

Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi (2-2, 2.70 ERA) will start for the Rangers on Sunday. Eovaldi is 2-4 with a 10.91 ERA in seven career starts vs. the Giants, but he hasn’t pitched against them since 2019, when he was a member of the Boston Red Sox.

Texas is averaging just 3.2 runs per game since May 10. The defending World Series champion fell to 4-27 this season when scoring three runs or less after losing 3-1 to the Giants on Saturday afternoon.

“Not much to say except we’re just not doing much offensively,” Rangers manager Bruce Bochy said. “That’s been the story for a while here.”

Heliot Ramos continued his hot hitting for San Francisco with an RBI double in the first inning and a two-run blast in the third, his fourth home run in the last six games. Ramos is hitting .462 in June (12-for-26) with six walks, four home runs and 10 RBIs.

“What do you say about Ramos?” Giants manager Bob Melvin said. “It’s pretty incredible what he’s doing.”

Texas had a chance to at least force extra innings in the bottom of the ninth Saturday when Nathaniel Lowe led off with a walk against Giants closer Camilo Doval, and Jonah Heim followed one out later with an infield hit.

After Travis Jankowski advanced the runners to second and third with a groundout, Leody Taveras hit a liner down the right-field line that would have tied the game and could have been a potential triple but curled just foul at the last moment. Taveras later flew out to end the game.

“Could have used a little luck there at the end with the ball Leo hit,” Bochy said. “But you know what, we shouldn’t be looking for that. Get some consistent at-bats and get the barrel on the ball.”

It also hasn’t helped that the Rangers’ hottest hitter, reigning World Series MVP Corey Seager, has been sidelined with a left hamstring injury the last two contests.

“We just have to get some guys hot,” Bochy said. “We’ve got to get hits with runners in scoring position. Really, we have to create more opportunities.

“There’s probably some pressing going on. They’re working. I can say that. Just going to be a case where a guy gets a big hit or something and gets things rolling. But we’re missing that.”

–Field Level Media

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