Scooter Gennett, who hit ninth in Milwaukee’s batting order, was an unlikely hero Tuesday night in Arlington.
The rookie recorded the first multi-home run game of his young career with round-trippers in the third and fifth innings, driving in the Brewers’ first three runs in a 5-1 win over the Rangers.
Gennett started the scoring for Milwaukee with a 394-foot solo home run into the upper porch in right field in that third inning.
Mitch Moreland answered Gennett’s blast with a solo home run of his own to right field in the bottom of the third inning. It was Moreland’s 17th four-bagger of the season.
The Rangers didn’t have an answer for Gennett’s second long-ball, however, as the Ranger run production was thwarted after Moreland’s home run in the third.
Alexi Ogando surrendered three home runs in total, but manager Ron Washington was encouraged by Ogando’s outing.
“He was real efficient tonight,” Washington said. “Gennett was the issue tonight. But [Ogando] got to the seventh inning with seventy-something pitches, so it’s improvement.”
Ogando said he had good command of his pitches, but left a few over the plate in the game. But he said he is building up his arm strength “little by little.” Ogando has been on the disabled list twice in 2013.
The best scoring chance came for the Rangers in the eighth inning, when Elvis Andrus stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and one out. Andrus, who is now 0-for-14 since his home run Saturday in Houston, struck out and Ian Kinsler lined out to end the threat.
“We got the tying run to the plate and had the right people up,” Washington said. “They just got the outs they needed.”
Only two Texas baserunners advanced past second base after the third inning. In the seventh, Alex Rios tapped a ball in front of the plate for an out with a runner on third base.
Leonys Martin was caught stealing at second base in the sixth inning to stop a potential offensive threat. It was the eighth time Martin has been caught stealing this season in 35 attempts (77 percent).
The Rangers left seven men on base Tuesday night.
Khris Davis hit a towering shot off the foul pole in left field for the Brewers’ fourth run of the game. It was just his fourth homer of the year.
A fifth run for Milwaukee came home on a failed run-down between third base and home plate, as A.J. Pierzynski missed the tag on a diving Jean Segura. The play was officially ruled as a steal of home for the Milwaukee shortstop.
Washington said his team did everything right on the play, but just didn’t finish the run-down. A.J. Pierzynski took responsibility for not doing just that.
“What happened was because I didn’t run him back far enough. I put [Adrian Beltre] in a bad spot. It was just one of those plays that didn’t work out,” Pierzynski said.
Ogando finished with four earned runs allowed on six hits in six-and-a-third innings. The two Brewers (Gennett and Davis) that hit Milwaukee’s three home runs entered Tuesday with five combined home runs in 2013.
Neal Cotts, Joakim Soria and Robbie Ross relieved Ogando in the loss. Soria was the only reliever to give up a run on the botched run-down in the eighth inning.
The loss snaps an eight-game winning streak for the Rangers. Tuesday marks the first time the Rangers have been held to one run since July 28 in Cleveland. The offense averaged over six runs per game over that 14-game span.
The Rangers have a chance to return to their winning ways Wednesday against Milwaukee.