Rangers 13, Royals 6,
Royals 15, Rangers 4, gm 2
The Rangers continued their series with the Kettering Royals with a twinbill at Action Sports Center on Sunday, April 9. The Rangers pulled away late in game 1 to win 13-6, but struggled at the plate and in the field in game 2 falling 15-4.
Joe Becker started game 1 for the Rangers and quickly found himself in a hole after two fielding errors prolonged the inning allowing the Royals scored 4 unearned runs. The Rangers countered with a 5-spot in the bottom of the second. Brandon Marshall singled with one out. After a walk and a fielder's choice loaded the bases, Rob Armour, Brody Dunlevy, Ben Schooler, and Nick Gilmore singled in succession to account for the runs.
The 5-4 lead grew to 6-4 after Marshall doubled with two outs and scored on a Royals' fielding error. An RBI single from Schooler in the fourth increased the lead to 7-4. Becker meanwhile was putting up zeroes and the defense stood its ground as the Rangers clung to a 3-run lead after 5 innings.
Ryan Kemp relieved Becker in the 6th. After a pair of walks bookended by strikeouts, the Royals took advantage of the Rangers' third error of the game to score twice and cut the lead to one run.
The Rangers put the game out of reach in the bottom of the sixth. Cody Oakes doubled. Armour reached on an error. Dunlevy singled home Oakes. Alex Schulke reached on an error. Schooler doubled for his 4th hit of the game, plating a pair. Nick Gilmore grounded out to score a run. Chris Pluta reached on an error and later scored on an RBI single from Marshall.
Kemp finished up the seventh with his 4th strikeout and a scoreless frame to earn his first save as a Ranger.
Game two was an anomaly of what should be expected out of the 2017 Rangers as the defense couldn't back up the pitchers, and the offense got lost on its way back to the park. The Rangers did not have much of an answer for Royals' ace Evan Koogler who they defeated in Week 1, mustering just 5 hits in the nightcap.
The closest the Rangers came was tying the game at 2-2 in the top of the second as Ryan Kemp tripled to right and scored on a wild pitch. Brandon Marshall, who walked, scored on a double-play ball that Darren Gouin made that would put all MLB shortstops to shame.
Marshall added an RBI single in the fourth and Rob Armour had a run-scoring single in the 7th to round out the scoring for the Rangers.
Offensive highlights: Ben Schooler 4-4, run, 2b, 4RBI; Brandon Marshall 4-5, 3 runs, 2RBI, 2b, 2 SB; Rob Armour 2-5, 3 runs, 2RBI; Brody Dunlevy 2-4, 2 runs, 2RBI.
Historical Notes: Brandon Riley is 1 RBI away from 100 for his career. Jonmarc Lippincott is 3 hits shy of 800 career hits.