All of the attention appears to be on Ken Griffey Jr. as he tries to hit his 500th home run.
Rogers is tied with Arizona’s Randy Johnson and Houston’s Roger Clemens for the major league lead with nine wins. Clemens earned his first loss of the season Monday night, and Johnson got his ninth win on Sunday.
“Kenny has been a rock for us,” Texas manager Buck Showalter said. “I like handing him the ball every fifth day.”
The 39-year-old left-hander, who pitched a four-hitter in the Rangers’ 9-0 victory over the Devil Rays on May 3, survived a shaky first innning in his last outing against Pittsburgh on Thursday. After surrendering a two-run homer in the first inning to Jack Wilson, Rogers settled down to win his fifth straight decision as the Texas offense rallied for a 10-4 win.
“You don’t want to give up a quick lead,” said Rogers, who finished with four runs and nine hits in seven innings, striking out six Thursday. “I knew our offense would come around and they bailed me out.”
One away from becoming the 20th player in major league history to join the 500-homer club, Griffey opted to postpone his pursuit of the milestone for one day, sitting out as the Reds dropped a season-high seventh straight loss in a 10-7, rain-shortened eight-inning defeat at Philadelphia on Monday.
Griffey hit his 499th homer in the Reds’ 10-8 loss to the Indians on Sunday—his 18th of the season and 10th in 21 games—as Cincinnati dropped to 0-6 in interleague play. He had played in 36 games in a row going into Monday night, but decided to sit out with rain in the forecast.
Rain did end up interrupting the game—already a makeup for an April 14 rainout—three times for delays totaling 3 hours, 54 minutes.
The Rangers, coming off a 13-2 loss to St. Louis on Sunday, finished their six-game homestand 4-2 and play 20 of their next 26 games on the road.