Rangers manager Bruce Bochy returns to San Francisco for series

Must read

Bruce Bochy will go from respected opponent to returning hero when he and his Texas Rangers take the short jaunt over the Bay Bridge for the start of a three-game series against the host San Francisco Giants on Friday night

Being part of the Miracle on Ice | Alex Edelman’s Ultimate Sports Fantasy

Bochy began a week-long stay in the Bay Area with two wins in three days in Oakland. The Athletics snapped the Rangers‘ eight-game winning streak with a 2-0 victory Wednesday

That gave Bochy, 68, a day off Thursday to bask in the glory of a city in which he led the Giants to three world championships and a total of 1,052 wins over 13 seasons as the San Francisco skipper

“It was a big chapter in my life, my family’s lives,” Bochy recalled this week. “We lived right across the street from the ballpark. We were right there in the community. Just tremendous times. We built a lot of great relationships, fell in love with the city. All those things run through your mind.

Bochy’s new team is also enjoying more than its fair share of success. The Rangers will take the field for the series opener with as many wins under Bochy this season (68) as they had all of last year under Chris Woodward and Tony Beasley

Despite missing starting pitchers Jacob deGrom and Nathan Eovaldi, the Rangers allowed three or fewer runs seven times during their eight-game winning streak, then gave up just two in defeat Wednesday

Right-hander Jon Gray (7-5, 3.72 ERA) will be tasked with keeping the momentum going

The 31-year-old has been the starting pitcher the last two times the Rangers allowed more than three runs. He got a no-decision in a 10-9 road loss to the Houston Astros on July 24, then earned the win in a 9-8 home triumph over the Miami Marlins last Saturday. He was roughed up for a total of 11 runs (nine earned) and 13 hits over 10 1/3 innings in those two games

A former member of the Colorado Rockies of the National League West, Gray has plenty of experience against the Giants, having gone 2-8 with a 5.96 ERA in 16 lifetime starts

If there’s any team that can relate to the Rangers‘ injury-riddled pitching staff, it’s the Giants. They are scheduled to use an opener for the third consecutive game when they once again call upon left-hander Scott Alexander (6-2, 4.01) to get the ball rolling

Alexander faced just three batters and all three scored in a four-run first inning in Tuesday’s 7-5 road loss to the Los Angeles Angels. The Giants also dropped the series finale, a 4-1 setback started by Ryan Walker

“It’s always challenging to play from behind,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said of the importance of an opener. “In particular, because the opposing pitcher is going to have a little more confidence with a cushion. And even though you’re scratching and clawing your way back in, he’s going to maintain that confidence as long as he has a lead. I think that makes it more challenging.

Alexander has started five times this season, never going more than 1 2/3 innings. He has shut out the opponent on three of those occasions, with the Giants going on to win all of those games. When he’s allowed at least one run the other two times, his team lost

The 34-year-old has never started against the Rangers. In six career appearances against them out of the bullpen, he’s pitched to a 1.17 ERA with a 1-0 record

–Field Level Medi

More articles

Latest article