CINCINNATI (AP) — Struggling Roughned Odor made a bold prediction before his bases-loaded at-bat.
“(Odor) even said, ‘If this guy throws me a slider for a strike, I’m going to take it deep,” manager Chris Woodward said.
He sure did.
Odor hit Wandy Peralta’s over-the-plate slider for his fourth career grand slam, and the Texas Rangers went with their bullpen from start to finish — even getting an interleague hit from a pitcher, too — while beating the Cincinnati Reds 7-1 on Friday night.
Odor’s homer off Wandy Peralta highlighted a game full of big Rangers moments, including Elvis Andrus’ second theft of home on the back end of a double steal and Delino Deshields’ on-field reunion with his father.
The biggest hit came from Odor, who has struggled all season but is finally making solid contact. In the last six games, he has raised his average from .165 to .182.
“I’m just trying to stay positive and do my work in the (batting) cage,” Odor said. “I’m feeling better the last couple of games.”
DeShields was participating in a game with his father — Reds first base coach Delino — for the first time in the majors. He singled off Tyler Mahle (2-7) to start a two-run rally in the first inning, scored a run and added a sacrifice fly.
“It’s nerve-racking for me to watch him play,” the elder DeShields said. “I’ve played in front of packed houses, but there’s nothing like watching your kids play.”
The Rangers went with a bullpen day, using reliever Jesse Chavez as a starter for the fourth time this season. He allowed one hit in a season-high three scoreless innings and contributed his second career hit . Brett Martin (1-0) got his first major league win as four Rangers relievers combined on a five-hitter.
“It literally couldn’t have worked out better,” Woodward said.
Former starter Drew Smyly pitched the last three innings for his first save since 2013 with Detroit and No. 3 for his career. Smyly was moved to the bullpen after giving up 19 runs in his last three games.
“It’s not anything new for me, it’s just been a while,” Smyly said.
Andrus’ dirt-raising theft of home in the first inning came on the back end of a double steal with Asdrubal Cabrera. When catcher Curt Casali threw to second, Andrus dashed and slid head-first, his left hand catching the back of the plate as he beat shortstop Jose Iglesias’ throw.
Umpire Jerry Meals called him out, but Andrus was ruled safe after a replay review. It was his sixth career steal of home and the Rangers’ second in six games. Odor had a straight steal of home last Sunday against Oakland.
Joey Votto was back in the Reds’ lineup after coming through a pregame workout without problem. Votto left a game Wednesday with a stiff back. He singled, grounded out and struck out twice.
Texas acquired right-hander Jake Petricka from Milwaukee for a player to be named or cash. The 31-year-old reliever had no record and a 3.38 ERA in six appearances for the Brewers in April. He was assigned to Triple-A Nashville.
The Rangers are 7-6 in interleague game this season. The Reds are 2-4.
STARTING OFF …
Chavez’s other starts this season were at Houston on May 11 (one inning), May 22 against Seattle (1 2/3 innings), and May 28 at Seattle (one inning).
… AND A HIT
Chavez singled in the second inning. He also struck out, leaving him 2 for 19 career with 17 strikeouts.
Iglesias dived in the grass in left field to get a grounder by Tim Federowicz in the second inning, popped to his feet and threw him out .
Rangers: Outfielder Joey Gallo could begin a rehab assignment next week. He has been on the injury list since June 2 with a strained left oblique.
Reds: Infielder Alex Blandino was reinstated from the 10-day injured list and optioned to Triple-A Louisville. He’s recovering from a torn ACL last July. … Left-hander Alex Wood is scheduled to throw to hitters on Tuesday. He has been sidelined since spring training by a back injury.
Rangers: Left-hander Mike Minor (5-4) is 0-1 in his last four starts despite allowing only six earned runs. The Rangers have scored five runs behind him in those four games.
Reds: Tanner Roark (4-5) has lost both of his June starts, giving up eight runs in 11 innings.