A.J. Alexy won his major league debut pitching one-hit ball through five shutout innings while DJ Peters, Leody Taveras and Nick Solak homered in consecutive innings as the Texas Rangers hung on to beat the Colorado Rockies 4-3 on Monday.
Alexy (1-0) allowed only a second-inning double to C.J. Cron. The 23-year-old who was recalled from Triple-A Round Rock earlier in the day struck out four and walked three throwing 81 pitches. Alexy helped himself in the fifth following a leadoff walk to Raimel Tapia by picking him off first base for the second out.
“My confidence was through the roof yesterday,” said Alexy, who was obtained from the Los Angeles Dodgers in the July 31, 2017 Yu Darvish trade. “And then once I got into the pre-game bullpen, then it was, ‘All right, here we go. Time to actually do it.’ My emotions have been all over.”
“I think they hit, what, two balls hard off him?” Texas manager Chris Woodward asked. “The Cron hit was perfectly placed. We were playing him in left-center, and he hit one right down the line.”
Local product Trevor Story hit a solo homer in the seventh inning and a two-run shot in the eighth for Colorado.
“He had some life on his fastball,” Story said of Alexy. “I feel like he didn’t miss much over the plate.”
Joe Barlow, who was activated from the 10-day injured list before the game, pitched a perfect ninth inning for his third save in three opportunities.
Texas has won two straight games for the first since a three-game winning streak July 31-Aug. 2.
The only other pitcher in Rangers history to allow only one hit going at least five innings in his debut was Roger Pavlik, who limited the Chicago White Sox to one hit in six innings on May 2, 1992.
Peters’ homer down the left-field line in the fourth inning was his eighth since joining Texas on Aug. 3 off a waiver claim from the Dodgers. He’s the club leader in homers since then.
Taveras hit his first homer of the season in the fifth. He went into play in an 0-for-31 slump with an .062 batting average and preceded the homer with a double.
Solak hit a two-run homer in the sixth.
German Marquez (11-10) gave up all four runs on seven hits in six innings.
The Rockies dropped to 17-49 in away games, one-half game ahead of Texas’ major-league worst road record (16-49).
THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT
Alexy’s performance came three days after RHP Glenn Otto held Houston to two hits in five shutout innings in his major-league debut. According to STATS, inc., the Rangers are the first big-league team since 1900 to have first-timers allow two or fewer hits going at least five innings within a span of four games.
With starters Dane Dunning and Mike Foltynewicz among seven Rangers currently on the COVID list, Alexy, Otto and LHP Jake Latz all made their debuts in the team’s last six games.
“It’s cool success, obviously, for the organization,” Woodward said.
About 30 of Story’s relatives plus plenty of friends watched him hit multiple homers for the third time this season and the 18th time in his career.
“I just feel blessed that my family get to see me play in person here in Texas,” Story said. “It’s something I’ll cherish.”
To make room for Alexy on Texas’ roster, Latz was returned to Round Rock. … Cron extended his on-base streak to 24 straight games. … Solak has hit safely in all eight games since being recalled from Round Rock. … The announced crowd of 14,990 was Texas’ smallest this season.
Rockies: Tapia (right big-toe strain) returned from the 10-day IL. To make room for him on the roster, INF Taylor Motter was designated for assignment.
Rangers: INF Andy Ibanez (strained left hamstring) was placed on the 10-day IL retroactive to Sunday.
Tuesday night’s middle game of this three-game series will match Rockies LHP Austin Gomber (9-8, 4.38 ERA) against Rangers RHP Jordan Lyles (6-11, 5.70). Gomber threw six shutout innings to beat Texas on June 3 at Coors Field. Lyles was rocked for eight runs in 3 2/3 innings last Thursday at Cleveland. The former Rockies pitcher (2014-17) is second worst among big-league qualifiers in opponents’ batting average (.292) and home runs allowed (33).
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