ARLINGTON, Texas (TSWT/TSWT) — Meibrys Viloria had a tiebreaking pinch-hit single in the seventh inning and Texas defeated the Chicago White Sox 3-2 on Thursday night, as the Rangers became the first team since 1986 to win two of their first-round picks in the big league gain debuts as starters in the same game.
Left-handed Cole Ragans, who had twice Tommy John surgery after being their first round in 2016, allowed one unearned run over five innings on his debut. Bubba Thompson, the team’s first pick in 2017, was 1 for 3 with a bunt-single in his first big league game after being called up earlier in the day to play on left field and bat in ninth.
Brock Burke (5-2) struckout four in two scoreless innings after taking over for Ragans, who struckout three, walked a batter and gave up three hits in a debut of 93 pitches. Jonathan Hernandez threw the ninth for his second save in two chances.
Leody Taveras had an RBI single for the Rangers that ended a seven-game losing streak at home. That single in the second inning came after Nathaniel Lowe extended his hit streak to 11 games with the first of his two doubles.
White Sox starter Johnny Cueto (4-5), unbeaten in his last six starts, gave up three runs and 11 hits. He struckout four batters without a walk while going the distance.
Texas had two with one out in the seventh when Viloria singled through the middle to make it 2-1 when he struckout for struggling third baseman Ezequiel Duran, in a 3-for-30 slide after striking out his both at bats. Thompson then bunted to load the bases before Marcus Semien’s sacrifice fly.
Yoan Moncada had a two-out RBI triple for the White Sox in the eighth before Thompson made a running catch to end the inning.
The debut of Ragans and Thompson came after the Rangers officially introduced round one Kumar Rocker in the first round of 2022 earlier in the day.
Ragans started after Texas put Jon Gray on the injured list with a left oblique strain. The 24-year-old lefty was 8-5 with a 3.04 ERA in 18 starts combined at Triple-A Round Rock and Double-A Frisco.
Thompson hit .303 with 13 home runs, 48 RBIs and 49 stolen bases in 80 games at Round Rock.
The last time two former first-round picks drafted by the same club made their MLB debut in the same game was April 8, 1986, when first baseman Will Clark and second baseman Robby Thompson made their debut together for the San Francisco Giants in Houston.
Chicago got its run in the third inning when Luis Robert walked before moving to third place on an error by rightfielder Adolis Garcia on a dropped flyout that was initially ruled a flyout before the White Sox challenged. Replay showed that Garcia was never in control and that the drop was not caused by trying to transfer the ball from the glove to his hand. Robert scored on Andrew Vaughn’s fielder’s choice comebacker.
Rangers: OR Kole Calhoun (right heel irritation) was placed on the 10-day injured list and RHP Dennis Santana (left ankle sprain) was placed on the 15-day IL. That freed up spots on the active roster for Ragans and Thompson, but Steven Duggar and Steele Walker, both outfielders at Triple-A Round Rock, were assigned to make way on the 40-man roster.
Rangers righthander Glenn Otto (4-7) is 0-5 with a 7.11 ERA in seven starts since returning from the COVID-19-related IL.