ARLINGTON — Josh Jung wasn’t considering a lot of something when he fielded the sharp grounder down the third-base line within the sixth inning. Every little thing occurred so quick, he couldn’t even course of it.
“[I was] simply considering, ‘Eliminate it,’” Jung mentioned. “’Get it out of my arms, and if it occurs, it occurs.’”
With the Angels having stationed runners at first and second, “it” was a possible triple play, the primary Jung would ever be a part of. So he removed the ball as rapidly as doable, stepping on third along with his proper meals and firing an off-balance throw to second baseman Marcus Semien.
“When [Magneuris Sierra] was out at second and Marcus removed it, I knew we had an opportunity,” Jung mentioned.
They did certainly. Jung, Semien and first baseman Nathaniel Lowe mixed to show the eighth triple play in membership historical past and the workforce’s second of 2022. It’s the primary time in Rangers historical past that they’ve turned a couple of triple play in a single season.
The play stopped the bleeding within the Angels’ three-run sixth inning, by which they retook a lead that they by no means gave again as Texas fell, 5-2, at Globe Life Discipline.
“It was in an enormous spot once we obtained it,” Jung mentioned. “I believe they’d scored a few runs. Marcus had an ideal flip at second, and we knew [batter Max Stassi] wasn’t a burner down the road. [Sierra] was fairly fast, so I simply needed to eliminate it. However Marcus did a hell of a job turning it, it was fairly cool.”
Massive spot or not, the Rangers’ infield — which has been criticized for its subpar protection all through the season — turned the triple play prefer it was routine. Stassi was out at first by a step because of the precision of each Jung and Semien.
“[The ground ball to Jung] was in an ideal spot,” mentioned interim supervisor Tony Beasley. “It led [Jung] to the bottom. He simply needed to step to second and switch it. It was most likely one of many easiest-looking triple performs that I’ve ever seen. Normally the third out at first base is bang-bang. This wasn’t even shut. It was a formidable play, and to see it come about like that, it bailed us out of the inning, too.”
The triple play could have stopped the bleeding, however not earlier than the Rangers had already run into hassle. Semien tied the sport at 2-2 with an RBI double within the backside of the fifth, however the three-run sixth from the Angels in the end put the competition out of attain.
Rangers starter Cole Ragans — the membership’s No. 13-ranked prospect, per MLB Pipeline — stored issues shut, giving up two runs in 4 2/3 innings as he neared his pitch depend restrict within the fifth. His lone mistake got here when he allowed a two-run homer to Matt Duffy within the second inning.
Whereas the lefty did give up seven hits, he notably didn’t stroll a batter for the primary time in his younger massive league profession.
“I’m simply making an attempt to go at guys and make them hit the ball,” Ragans mentioned. “Walks damage me, clearly. I’ve realized that from expertise earlier within the yr. … Within the second inning, after I gave up a few runs, I slowed my tempo down and all the pieces obtained slightly gradual. We obtained again within the dugout and talked about it so I used to be like, ‘All proper, let’s pace it up. After they get within the field, I am able to go.’ In order that helped out. Simply selecting up my tempo helps all the pieces else out with my mechanics and simply going at them.”