ARLINGTON – Matt Garza had his worst outing since joining the Texas Rangers, giving up four runs for a third consecutive start.
But, just as they did in his last start against Houston, the offense bailed him out. Ian Kinsler delivered the go-ahead hit in the seventh inning, and the Rangers held on for a 5-4 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Rangers are now 21-10 in one-run games. They have won nine of their last 10, and remain atop the American League West.
Trailing 4-2 going into the seventh, the Rangers rallied against the Brewers bullpen. Michael Gonzalez walked the only two batters he faced, and John Axford followed by walking the bases loaded with no outs.
Axford struck out Leonys Martin, but gave up an RBI single to Elvis Andrus in the next at-bat. Burke Badenhop replaced Axford, and then served up a two-run single to Kinsler that put the Rangers ahead.
Tanner Scheppers worked a 1-2-3 eighth, and Joe Nathan pitched the ninth for his 36th save.
Garza lasted only 5 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Garza had pitched at least seven innings in his first four starts with the Rangers.
But he gave up a solo homer to Juan Francisco in the second inning, and then served up a three-run homer to Francisco in the fourth inning.
The offense, meanwhile, was struggling to capitalize on their opportunities against Brewers starter Tyler Thornburg. Adrian Beltre drove in a run in the first inning, but the Rangers ran into two outs that inning.
Andrus brought in another run in the third, but two men were left on base that inning. But the Rangers rallied late once they got to the Brewers’ bullpen.
-- Drew Davison