ARLINGTON (AP) – The Texas Rangers took full advantage after a changed call. A misplayed flyball only made things worse for the San Diego Padres.
Robinson Chirinos drove in the first of five runs Texas scored in a decisive sixth inning on the next pitch after it appeared he had struck out, and right fielder Hunter Renfroe was charged with an error on the next play as the Rangers rallied for a 7-4 win Monday night.
There were two runners and Chirinos had two strikes when he had a foul tip. Home plate umpire Tony Randazzo initially indicated he was out, and it looked like catcher Austin Hedges had secured the ball in the mitt that kicked up dirt when he reached down.
But was changed to a foul ball after the umpires got together to discuss the play.
“From my vantage point, our dugout, we saw dirt fly, which seem to indicate that the ball hit the ground,” said Rangers manager Jeff Banister, who said the umps got together on their own.
Padres manager Andy Green obviously had a much different view.
“Yeah, it’s frustrating. They missed it. I think it’s obvious when you see the film that they missed it,” Green said. “It’s a frustrating overturn on an obvious call. We had chances, though. We had some plays we could have made that we didn’t make. It’s one of those innings that flat out got away from us.”
After Chirinos’ got Texas within 4-2, Ronald Guzman then hit the deep flyball misplayed by Renfroe, who drifted to the ball on a windy night into the right-center cutout. Guzman wound up at second on the error and was credited with a sac fly. Delino DeShields and Choo followed with consecutive RBI singles, and Elvis Andrus added a sac fly.
“You’ve got to be mentally tough enough to bounce back from it and make a better pitch than what I made,” said Craig Stammen (4-1).
Choo extended his career-best on-base streak to 38 games with three hits, including that tiebreaking RBI single in the sixth. Chirinos had an RBI double in the seventh.
San Diego (35-46) reached the midpoint of its season by losing for the eighth time in nine games. The Rangers (35-45), who play their 81st game Tuesday night, have won eight of nine.
Tony Barnette (2-0) retired all three batters he faced after Manuel Margo and Jose Pirela homered off Rangers starter Cole Hamels. Keone Kela worked the nine for his 19th save, the most in the majors without a blown chance and matching the longest season-opening span in team history.
“Being able to see what the team was able to do when you put them a little behind, they were able to battle,” Hamels said. “When you’re winning, everybody’s happy, and you can move on to the next day.”
Margo’s three-run homer in the fifth was his second homer in as many days, and his third overall. His only other homer this season came April 5. Pirela went deep to start the sixth for a 4-1 lead and chase Hamels.
San Diego starter Joey Lucchesi allowed only one hit over four scoreless innings. But the lefty was limited to 70 pitches in only his second start after being out more than a month because of a right hip strain.
“You’re managing a guy’s career as much as you are a baseball game,” Green said. “To me, wasn’t quite stretched out enough to send him back out there for the fifth inning.”
The Padres had allowed five runs or fewer in their 14 previous road games, a club record. It was the 10th time in Hamels’ 16 starts this season that Texas scored no more than one run while the lefty was on the mound.
Padres: Green said an MRI on the pitching elbow of RHP Jordan Lyles showed that he does just have inflammation. Lyles was scratched from his scheduled start Saturday after feeling discomfort while warming up. Lyles will rejoin the team in Texas, but won’t start throwing again before the weekend.
Rangers: Guzman left in the sixth and went into MLB concussion protocol. His head struck the knee of third baseman Christian Villanueva when diving back on an attempted pickoff by Hedges. “It was very evident when we got out there, just his words, kind of the symptoms that he gave us,” Banister said. RF Nomar Mazar left with tightness in his left hamstring after an infield single in the eighth. Banister described that as “pretty precautionary.”
Padres right-hander Tyson Ross (5-5), who received no run support in his last two starts, faces the team he pitched for last year. Ross was 3-3 with a 7.71 ERA in 12 games in his only season with the Rangers after previously being with San Diego from 2013-16.
(© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)