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Apr 28, 2024 8:59 am

Rangers looking to secure home series win vs. Reds

dane dunning rangers

Dane Dunning takes the mound Sunday afternoon as the defending World Series champion Texas Rangers look to win their first home series since March when they host the Cincinnati Reds in the rubber-game of their three-game series.

Dunning (2-2, 4.61 ERA) has made just one appearance against the Reds in his career and comes in with a 0-0 record and 10.80 ERA. The right-hander will be opposed by left-hander Andrew Abbott (1-2, 2.60), who will be facing the Rangers for the first time in his career.

Texas, behind a pair of solo home runs by Evan Carter and Marcus Semien, won the series opener, 2-1, on Friday but the Reds rebounded to even the series on Saturday with an 8-4 victory as Hunter Greene allowed just one hit over seven shutout innings and Jonathan India went 4-for-4 with a homer and four RBIs.

The Rangers opened the season taking two of three games from the Chicago Cubs from March 28-31 but haven’t won another home series since, including dropping two of three games against American League West Division rivals Seattle and Oakland.

“You want to win series, especially in our division,” Texas manager Bruce Bochy said.

Part of the problem has been the team’s offense. World Series MVP Corey Seager, who missed most of spring training after undergoing sports hernia surgery, is batting just .247 and hit only his second home run of the season in Saturday’s loss. Carter is batting .213 with five homers while rookie outfielder Wyatt Langford, the star of spring training, is hitting. 245 and is still in search of his first home run.

“These guys are human,” Bochy told MLB.com. “With Corey, come on, we know he’s going to hit. The guy missed all of spring training and really couldn’t do a lot this winter. … He’s one of the best hitters in the game so I’m not concerned about Corey. It’ll be fine. He’s gonna get his hits, his home runs.”

As for hot-shot rookies like Carter and Langford, Bochy is preaching patience.

“So much is made of how you’re doing at the beginning of the season, so there’s a lot of tension on them,” Bochy said.

Semien is batting .261 with five homers.

“All we can do is look forward and continue to improve,” Semien said. “Obviously, Corey and I want to set the table for the hot hitters in the middle. We have hot hitters in the middle of the lineup. When we get on base and produce like we know we can, we’ll be rolling.”

That wasn’t the case for most of Saturday’s loss, however. Greene allowed only a fifth-inning double to Josh Smith over seven shutout innings. He walked one and struck out six while picking up his first win of the season.

“He’s making improvements — today he did it with his fastball command,” Cincinnati manager David Bell said. “He threw a lot of fastballs — he kept them honest with his slider — but really he was on the attack the whole day so he was able to accomplish both going deep into the game and limiting runs. It was a great start.”

The Reds also got a big game from India, who entered the contest batting a major league worst .031 (1-for-37) on the road with 18 strikeouts. The four-hit game was the second of his career while the four RBIs matched his season total coming into the contest.

–Field Level Media

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