ARLINGTON — It’s been a bumpy start for Rangers starting pitchers this season. There have been ups, there have been downs and there have been lock down days. And the blisters – don’t forget the blisters.
That last part is one of the reasons Spencer Howard, originally in the rotation to start the year, is down to Triple-A building to get back to starting form. Another is how Glenn Otto has pitched since coming over from Round Rock.
Before Otto’s departure on Saturday against the Boston Red Sox, Rangers manager Chris Woodward was asked if the current five-man rotation is something he hopes to have for a long time. He issued a vote of confidence in this regard.
After Otto’s worst start to the season, in an 11-3 loss to the Red Sox, Woodward’s mindset isn’t expected to change too much.
Otto, a trade-in rookie for Joey Gallo a season ago, pitched four innings Saturday, allowing eight hits, four walks and eight runs for his first loss of the season. Woodward also knocked him out in the fifth inning, hoping Otto could go a little further and claw back an extra inning of use, but he allowed the first two Red Sox batters to reach base.
“He wasn’t as sharp as he was. He’s been really good to us, and today wasn’t a good day,” Woodward said of Otto.
Offensively, Rangers’ struggles continued. Rich Hill, 42, came off the COVID-19 list and shut down Rangers for the most part. Corey Seager had an RBI single in the first and Kole Calhoun hit a two RBI off Hill in the seventh, kicking Hill out of the game but not without a win.
“They just kicked our ass today – that’s the bottom line,” Woodward said. “Rich Hill did very well against us. I told you before the game, if you let him get comfortable and let him spin the ball the way he does, he’s tough.
The Rangers have now been outscored 18-4 in two games against the Red Sox. The series finale is scheduled for Sunday at 1:35 p.m. at Globe Life Field.
Pretty quickly, Saturday turned into a throw-and-chase type of game for the Rangers. JD Martinez took a hanging slider from Otto and hit a solo home run to start the Boston bats. The next inning, Rafael Devers hit a fly ball into the opposite field that hit the left foul post for a two-run homer.
It was 5-1 after two sets; Rangers had only scored more than five points in a game three times this month.
By the time the runners who belonged to Otto had scored in the fifth, it was 8-1.
“Some footage that I obviously wish I could get back,” Otto said, “but I’ll try to learn from it and move on to the next one.”
From a feel standpoint, Otto said he felt as good as previous starts. Those earlier starts are why the 26-year-old from Spring has earned a spot in what appears to be Rangers’ five-man rotation at the moment.
“I think with any inexperienced player, there are always going to be speed bumps along the way,” Woodward said. “You just hope they’re not that big.
“Today was obviously a big event.”
Otto was asked after the game if he was eager to show he belonged in the future of the rotation.
“Absolutely,” he said. “We learn every time. We win or we learn and I really want to be here a long time and I want to help this team win a lot of games. To do this, I will have to execute pitches.
“I look forward to next time and another chance to do so.”
Briefly: Rangers public announcer Chuck Morgan announced his 3,100th consecutive game on Saturday. He hasn’t failed to announce a game since he started in 1983… Eli White’s two stolen bases in the first inning mean the Rangers haven’t been caught stealing during their last eight attempts… Marcus Semien extended his no-hitter streak to 25 at bat. He put the ball in play in the four at bat on Saturday.
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