Ezequiel Duran rallies Rangers past Angels despite immaculate inning

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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ezequiel Duran hit a three-run double in the ninth inning as the Texas Rangers beat the Angels 5-2 despite Los Angeles starter Reid Detmers throwing an immaculate inning.

Texas took three of four from the Angels and went 5-6 on its season-high, 11-game road trip.

Detmers became the first pitcher in seven years with a no-hitter and an immaculate inning in the same season, achieving the latter during the second inning when he struck out Duran, Kole Calhoun and Charlie Culberson on nine pitches. It is the fourth immaculate inning in the majors this year and the 109th in baseball’s recorded history.

Shohei Ohtani and Brandon Marsh had two hits apiece for the Angels, who dropped three of four and went 6-18 in July.

The Rangers got their first three aboard in the ninth on Leody Taveras‘ base hit and Jose Quijada (0-3) issuing walks to Jonah Heim and Adolis Garcia. Duran then cleared the bases with a double to the right-center field gap off Raisel Iglesias.

Brock Burke (5-2) came on in relief of starter Dane Dunning and pitched two scoreless innings. Jonathan Hernandez retired the side in the ninth for his first major league save.

Detmers went seven innings and struck out a career-high 12 while allowing two runs, one earned, on three hits.

Dunning gave up two runs on seven hits and struck out four in six in

The Rangers quickly got to Detmers with a run in the first. Marcus Semien drew a leadoff walk, stole second and scored when Nathaniel Lowe had a hit up the middle.

The Angels tied it in the home half of the frame on Luis Rengifo‘s RBI single to plate Ohtani. The AL MVP reached with a triple down the right-field line.

Los Angeles had the bases loaded with none out but could only get across one run on a sacrifice fly by Andrew Velazquez.

The Rangers evened it at 2 in the fifth. For the third time in the series, they took advantage of an Angels’ left fielder having problems playing balls hit into the corner when Charlie Culberson doubled down the line and took third when Marsh misplayed it. Culberson scored one batter later on Elier Hernandez’s sacrifice fly.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rangers: SS Corey Seager (lower right leg contusion) was out of the lineup for the third straight day. A stint on the injured list is a possibility after he is re-evaluated on Monday. … IF Brad Miller (neck strain) began a rehab assignment at Triple-A Round Rock.

Angels: 3B Phil Gosselin was in the lineup after leaving Saturday’s game when he was beaned in the third inning. … IF David Fletcher got a day off after playing in three straight games following his return from the injured list. Fletcher was on the IL for nearly three months due to a left hip strain.

ROSTER MOVE

RHP Jimmy Herget was activated off the injured list after missing 30 games due to right shoulder impingement. In a corresponding move, right-hander Chase Silseth was optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake.

UP NEXT

Rangers: Return home for seven games starting Monday against Baltimore. Texas has won seven of the last nine games started by right-hander Jon Gray (7-5, 3.62 ERA).

Angels: Begin a three-game series against Oakland on Tuesday. RHP Noah Syndergaard (5-8, 3.83 ERA) is listed as the starter, but he has been the subject of trade speculation as Tuesday’s deadline draws near.

Texas Rangers ink free-agent ace Jacob deGrom to 5-year deal

Jacob deGrom
USA Today
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ARLINGTON, Texas — Jacob deGrom is headed to the free-spending Texas Rangers, who believe the health risk is worth the potential reward in trying to end a six-year run of losing.

The two-time Cy Young Award winner agreed to a $185 million, five-year contract Friday, leaving the New York Mets after nine seasons – the past two shortened substantially by injuries.

“We acknowledge the risk, but we also acknowledge that in order to get great players, there is a risk and a cost associated with that,” Rangers general manager Chris Young said. “And one we feel like is worth taking with a player of Jacob’s caliber.”

Texas announced the signing after the 34-year-old deGrom passed his physical. A person with direct knowledge of the deal disclosed the financial terms to The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the club did not announce those details.

The Rangers were also big spenders in free agency last offseason, signing shortstop Corey Seager ($325 million, 10 years) and second baseman Marcus Semien ($175 million, seven years).

The team said deGrom will be introduced in a news conference at Globe Life Field next week following the winter meetings in San Diego.

“It fits in so many ways in terms of what we need,” Young said. “He’s a tremendous person. I have a number of close friends and teammates who played with Jacob and love him. I think he’s going to be just a perfect fit for our clubhouse and our fans.”

Texas had modest expectations after adding Seager, Semien and starter Jon Gray ($56 million, four years) last offseason but still fell short of them.

The Rangers went 68-94, firing manager Chris Woodward during the season, and then hired Bruce Bochy, a three-time World Series champion with San Francisco. Texas’ six straight losing seasons are its worst skid since the franchise moved from Washington in 1972.

Rangers owner Ray Davis said the club wouldn’t hesitate to keep adding payroll. Including the $19.65 million qualifying offer accepted by Martin Perez, the team’s best pitcher last season, the Rangers have spent nearly $761 million in free agency over the past year.

“I hate losing, but I think there’s one person in our organization who hates losing worse than me, and I think it’s Ray Davis,” Young said. “He’s tired of losing. I’m tired of losing. Our organization is tired of losing.”

After making his first start in early August last season, deGrom went 5-4 with a 3.08 ERA in 11 outings. He helped the Mets reach the playoffs, then passed up a $30.5 million salary for 2023 and opted out of his contract to become a free agent for the first time.

That ended his deal with the Mets at $107 million over four years, and deGrom rejected their $19.65 million qualifying offer in November. New York will receive draft-pick compensation for losing him.

The fan favorite becomes the latest in a long line of ace pitchers to leave the Mets for one reason or another, including Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver, Dwight Gooden and David Cone.

The Rangers visit Citi Field from Aug. 28-30.

When healthy, deGrom is perhaps baseball’s most dominant pitcher. His 2.52 career ERA ranks third in the expansion era (since 1961) behind Los Angeles Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw (2.48) and Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax (2.19) among those with at least 200 starts.

The right-hander is 4-1 with a 2.90 ERA in five career postseason starts, including a win over San Diego in the wild-card round this year that extended the Mets’ season. New York was eliminated the next night.

A four-time All-Star and the 2014 NL Rookie of the Year, deGrom was a ninth-round draft pick by the Mets in 2010 out of Stetson, where he played shortstop before moving to the mound. He was slowed by Tommy John surgery early in his career and didn’t reach the majors until age 26.

Once he arrived, though, he blossomed. He helped the Mets reach the 2015 World Series and earn a 2016 playoff berth before winning consecutive NL Cy Young Awards in 2018 and 2019.

But injuries to his elbow, forearm and shoulder blade have limited him to 26 starts over the past two seasons. He compiled a career-low 1.08 ERA over 92 innings in 2021, but did not pitch after July 7 that year because of arm trouble.

DeGrom is 82-57 with 1,607 strikeouts in 1,326 innings over nine big league seasons. He gets $30 million next year, $40 million in 2024 and 2025, $38 million in 2026 and $37 million in 2027. The deal includes a conditional option for 2028 with no guaranteed money.

The addition of deGrom gives the Rangers three proven starters along with Gray and Perez, who went 12-8 with a career-best 2.89 ERA in his return to the team that signed him as a teenager out of Venezuela. Young didn’t rule out the addition of another starter.

With several holes on their starting staff, the Mets have shown interest in free agents Justin Verlander and Carlos Rodon to pair with 38-year-old Max Scherzer atop the rotation.

Now, with deGrom gone, signing one of those two could become a much bigger priority.