Gray in Globe Life Field:
Last two times out on the road, Josiah Gray, 24, held the Reds to two runs (one earned) in six innings, and held the Marlins scoreless over five, which left him with a 1.89 ERA, 13 walks, 33 Ks, and a .181/.271/.302 line against in six starts and 33 1⁄3 IP away from Nationals Park this season, though he was coming off six scoreless at home against the Phillies when he took on the Rangers today in Arlington, Texas’s Globe Life Field.
Gray threw a career-high 117 pitches in his six innings of work last time out before today, and he told reporters afterwards he appreciated the show of confidence Davey Martinez gave him by letting him fight well past his previous season-high of 101 pitches set in his previous outing.
“I was kind of peeking in the dugout,” late in the start, Gray said, as quoted by MASN’s Bobby Blanco last week.
“I didn’t know what Davey was thinking. But once I didn’t see him move, I knew he had the confidence in me to go out there and get that last out.
“And I knew I had the confidence in myself to go get that last out. So that obviously meant a lot.”
Josiah Gray, 2 1st Inning Ks on Breaking Balls. pic.twitter.com/ZofvRPUtbI— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) June 25, 2022
Gray took the mound today with a streak of 16-straight scoreless innings going, and he got up to 17, but gave up a one-out walk to Mitch Garver in the Rangers’ second, and Nathaniel Lowe followed with a two-run shot to center which landed 432 feet from home, 2-0 Texas.
No-doubter from Nathaniel! pic.twitter.com/Pzf99K5zzH— Texas Rangers (@Rangers) June 25, 2022
He bounced back with a seven-pitch, 1-2-3 third, and struck out two batters in a 14-pitch, 1-2-3 fourth which left him at 47 pitches total with 5 Ks from 14 batters faced.
Gray’s 17-pitch fifth, in which he worked around back-to-back, two-out singles, with help in right from Juan Soto, who tracked down a foul ball in the corner for out No. 3, left him with 64 pitches total in five strong, though the Rangers still led, 2-0.
With the score tied at 2-2 after Juan Soto doubled to start the sixth and Nelson Cruz drove him in with a two-run blast, Gray needed and got a shutdown inning, retiring the side in a quick, 12-pitch, 1-2-3 frame which left him at 76 pitches total.
Gray picked up 2 Ks (for 8 total from 25 batters faced), but gave up a two-out single which kept the inning alive for the Rangers, before strikeout No. 9 ended the seventh inning and his outing...
Josiah Gray’s Line: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 9 Ks, 1 HR, 94 P, 61 S, 4/4 GO/FO.
Martin Opens Up:
Lefty Brett Martin was the opener for the Rangers this afternoon, after 25 appearances out of the bullpen to start the season, over which the 2014 4th Round pick by Texas had put up a 3.80 ERA, a 2.98 FIP, six walks, 17 Ks, and a .244/.296/.354 line against in 21 1⁄3 IP in which he’d held left-handed hitters to a .233/.281/.333 line and right-handers to a .250/.304/.365 line.
Martin tossed 1 2⁄3 scoreless against the Nationals in Friday’s series opener, then opened the second of three in Arlington, TX with a scoreless, 17-pitch frame in which he worked around a leadoff single and back-to-back, two-out walks.
Taylor Hearn, a 2015 5th Round pick by Washington, who was dealt to Pittsburgh in the Mark Melancon trade in 2016 and then traded to Texas in 2018, was next out of the pen today, and the now-27-year-old left-hander stranded back-to-back, one-out walks in a 19-pitch frame for the Rangers.
Given a 2-0 lead to work with, Hearn came back out with a 1-2-3 third, and retired the Nats in order in the fourth as well, completing three scoreless on 42 pitches.
A seven-pitch, 1-2-3 fifth left Hearn at 49 pitches in four scoreless, with just the back-to-back, one-out walks in the second allowed.
Lefty Brock Burke tried to keep the combined shutout going in the top of the sixth, but the 25-year-old gave up a leadoff double to the base of the center field wall, 410 feet for a two-base hit by Juan Soto, his 14th, and one out later Nelson Cruz stepped in and tied it up with one swing, hitting a 94 MPH 1-2 heater to left field and into the stands, 398 feet from home, for his 8th of 2022. 2-2 game.
Nelson Cruz needs no introduction to Texas @ncboomstick23 pic.twitter.com/hAbsfD7YGS— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) June 25, 2022
Yadiel Hernández singled and Ehire Adrianza walked to start the top of the seventh inning, but Lane Thomas grounded into a 6-4-3 DP for the first two outs of the frame, leaving just pinch runner Victor Robles at third, and Rangers’ lefty Matt Moore struck Juan Soto out to end a scoreless frame.
Moore returned in the top of the eighth, and gave up a leadoff single by Josh Bell, then got a little lucky when Nelson Cruz hit a liner toward third in the next at-bat, and it went off the glove of a diving third baseman Josh H. Smith, so it should have been a fair ball, but no one but Cruz saw it apparently, and the umps gathered and talked it over, but didn’t call it right, then Cruz grounded into a double play on the next pitch, before Luis García grounded out to end the inning.
Carl Edwards, Jr. got a double play out of Marcus Semien after giving up a leadoff single by Meibrys Viloria, and he struck out Corey Seager to keep it a 2-2 game.
The Nationals came up empty against Rangers’ reliever Joe Barlow in the top of the ninth.
Kyle Finnegan came on in a tie game in the bottom of the inning, and gave up a walk-off winner on a 2-2 slider up in the zone outside to Adolis García, who hit it 449 ft to center.
Final Score: 3-2 Rangers
Nationals now 26-48