Kohei Arihara returns as Rangers finish series vs. Rockies

National Sports

Texas Rangers first baseman Nathaniel Lowe won’t need any extra inspiration when he faces the Colorado Rockies in the finale of a three-game series on Wednesday afternoon in Arlington, Texas.

After collecting three hits in a 4-3 win against the Rockies on Tuesday night, including a solo home run, Lowe told reporters that he was grieving for his grandfather, who died on Sunday.

“I watched my grandfather take his last breath,” Lowe said. “I was on the call when it happened. I just want to make him proud for the rest of the season.”

Lowe has five hits in the series to put the Rangers on the verge of a rare sweep and move them within a victory of tying their longest winning streak of the season at four games.

Rangers right-hander Kohei Arihara is scheduled to come off the injured list and make his first start since May 8.

Arihara underwent a medical procedure to fix an aneurysm in his shoulder in late May and made two rehab starts in preparation for his major league return.

“Nothing is bothering me right now,” Arihara said. “I feel perfect.”

Arihara signed a two-year, $6.2 million contract after playing the past six seasons with the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters in Japan’s Pacific League.

He went 2-3 with a 6.59 ERA in his first seven starts with the Rangers.

Arihara told reporters that his shoulder problems may have been a combination of a different type of ball and mound than he was used to in Japan.

“I think I felt that,” he said. “Because of those things, my mechanics were a little bit off, so it’s possible that is the reason. But it’s hard to say.”

Arihara will need to be careful with Colorado first baseman C.J. Cron, who in August hit 11 home runs and led the majors with 34 RBIs. He also has reached base in 25 straight games.

“He had a great month,” Colorado manager Bud Black said. “I know that some other players in the league had great months as well, but C.J. is right up there among them. Tremendous all-around play.”

The Rockies are scheduled to start left-hander Kyle Freeland in the series finale.

Freeland (5-6, 4.17 ERA) has pitched well the past two months, but his record hasn’t always been an indication.

Freeland went 4-0 with a 3.41 ERA in August after going 0-4 with a 2.40 ERA in July.

He’s coming off a strong performance against the defending World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers, holding them to two runs and four hits in six innings of a 4-2 win on Friday.

“I’m not trying to do too much out there; there’s no reason,” Freeland said. “In my mind, there’s no reason to try and do more. When you start doing that, that’s usually when things kind of go south for you. So, I’m going to stay right where I am and be as consistent as possible.”

Freeland has made two starts against Texas in his career, owning a 1-0 record and 2.77 ERA.

–Field Level Media

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