Chi Chi Gonzalez has been hurt early in his starts before settling in and finishing strong. That's nothing new for the Rangers rookie right-hander.
On Tuesday, he was hurt by a rough beginning of his start again against the Mariners, allowing three first-inning runs and then locked down to register a quality start in the Rangers' 3-2 loss to Seattle.
Gonzalez, who was making what was likely his final start of the season with the Rangers as he'll likely be optioned to Triple-A on Wednesday to make room for Derek Holland on the active roster, struck out a career-high seven batters and walked just one as he was much better than he had been recently.
His final line was six innings and three earned runs — the exact threshold of a quality start, but it was probably his best outing since things turned sour for him in his fifth career start in late June. After his first four starts, Gonzalez had a 0.90 ERA, but that has ballooned to 4.25 after some rough outings.
Good thing is, Tuesday's was better, and he showed the Rangers something, especially with the strikeouts as he'd long been labeled as a pitcher without swing-and-miss stuff. Now, Gonzalez can go back to Round Rock and make a couple of more starts before the minor-league season ends. He'll then likely be a September call-up and a long man in the bullpen before he battles for a rotation spot in 2016.