Odor, Rangers aim for series win in Cincinnati

Field Level Media

The Texas Rangers were searching for that one big hit of their road trip before Rougned Odor delivered in grand style.

After Odor's fourth career grand slam sent Texas to a convincing 7-1 win in the opener on Friday, the visiting Rangers bid to secure the series victory on Saturday when they face the Cincinnati Reds.

Odor's blast with two outs in the fifth inning was the first over-the-fence homer of the road trip for Texas, which improved to 3-2 on the seven-game trek. Hunter Pence hit an inside-the-park home run on Tuesday in Boston.

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"He's being stubborn, stubborn in the strike zone," Texas manager Chris Woodward said of Odor, who also walked three times on Friday. "The hardest thing as a hitter to do is be stubborn in the strike zone but get your 'A' swing off on a strike, and he's doing that."

Odor has hit safely in four consecutive contests and is 7-for-21 in his past six with three doubles and eight RBIs. The 25-year-old has reached base in nine straight games.

"I've been seeing the ball good all year, but (earlier) I was swinging at too many balls. Now I'm just trying to swing at my pitch more than anything," Odor said on 105.3 The Fan.

Odor is 2-for-4 with a homer in a small sample size versus Cincinnati's scheduled Saturday starter, Tanner Roark (4-5, 3.74 ERA). Roark fell to 1-4 in his past five starts after permitting four runs on six hits in five innings of a 4-1 setback at Philadelphia on June 8.

Roark, who has surrendered eight runs in his past two outings overall (11 innings), owns an 0-2 mark with a 2.08 ERA in two career starts versus Texas. The 32-year-old right-hander has struggled at times versus Asdrubal Cabrera, who is 6-for-17 (.353) with three doubles and a homer against the hurler.

A sterling bullpen performance in the series opener led Texas to its 20th win in 30 games. The Rangers plan to travel a more conventional path on Saturday when they send left-hander Mike Minor (5-4, 2.52 ERA) to the mound.

Minor saw his winless stretch extend to four outings on Monday despite allowing just two runs on four hits in eight innings of a no-decision against the Red Sox. The 31-year-old veteran is 0-1 despite a 2.19 ERA in that four-game span.

Minor owns a 2-1 mark with a 2.60 ERA and 1.01 WHIP in four career starts versus Cincinnati. He has kept Yasiel Puig (1-for-8) and Joey Votto (1-for-7) in check, although Jose Iglesias is 2-for-4 with a homer against him.

Puig produced his second three-hit performance of the season in the opener and has hit safely in six of his past seven games.

"Days like that can get him going," Reds manager David Bell said of the 28-year-old right fielder. "He's really important to our lineup, important to our team. Hopefully that can help him."

Nick Senzel has homered in back-to-back games for the first time in his rookie season for Cincinnati, which has lost seven of its past 10 contests.

The Reds will look to alter their fortunes by wearing 1935 throwback uniforms on Saturday.

--Field Level Media

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