These days, the Texas Rangers and their fans don't have a whole lot to be smiling about.
But on Monday night, rookie starter Miles Mikolas gave them just that as he worked into the eighth inning to pick up his first big-league win as a starter in what was a career night for the 25-year-old.
Mikolas pitched out of some early jams and then settled in to earn himself a victory after a rough go in his last two starts, and especially his two most recent prior to Monday's. His last start was a loss to the Angels when he gave up five runs in 5 2/3 innings, and the one before that saw him allow nine runs in 3 1/3 innings to the Houston Astros, of all people.
On Monday, he fared much better, allowing just the two runs on four hits with three strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings of work. Mikolas can't be expected to do this often, but he pitched well on Monday and gave the bullpen a break, which, these days, is a rarity.
It's a step in the right direction for a club looking for any positive momentum available.