ARLINGTON, Texas — As bad as things had gone for the Texas Rangers in June, at least you could count on them to score in every game.
Not even that happened Friday night.
The Rangers, in the midst of a horrific offensive slump, were blanked by the Toronto Blue Jays 8-0.
Texas has now lost four straight games and nine of 13 in June. The Rangers have scored just 36 runs this month. They have been shut out three times in 31 home games this year, something that didn’t happen at all last season.
The season-long 11-game home stand is off to a 1-4 start as the Rangers have totaled five runs in their season-high four-game losing streak.
“I wish I had the formula, but when you’re in one of these kinds of funks the only way you can come out of it is you’ve got to battle your way out of it,” Texas manager Ron Washington said. “And we’ll just keep battling.”
As has been the case throughout most of a 4-9 June, the Rangers are bringing knives to a gunfight.
For the second consecutive game, the scoring chances were almost non-existent. Texas had just one runner in scoring position against Mark Buehrle in seven innings of work, and that inning ended with a double play. Texas had just five singles and only Adrian Beltre reached second base.
Texas hit into two double plays and finished with eight strikeouts. Frustration showed when Elvis Andrus was ejected by home-plate umpire Eric Cooper after a called third strike and a bat was thrown from the Texas dugout. Craig Gentry and Leonys Martin each threw their helmets to the ground at first base after outs on a night when the Nos. 5-9 hitters in the lineup were a combined 0 for 14 with six strikeouts.
“We go out there and we play with a lot of passion and obviously we want to do great,” said catcher Geovany Soto, who went 0 for 3 and is now hitting .189. “We have the type of offensive team that we’re actually playing out of character right now, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. We’re trying to get eight, 10 runs and trying to take pitches and create something. Right now everything seems to be not working.”
Washington didn’t see a problem with his players showing some emotion.
“You know, when you’re going through spells that we’re going through, you’re talking about guys that are in the trenches,” he said. “They get a little upset. And if they didn’t get upset, that’d mean they didn’t care.”
The offense would have had to post a greater output that it’s had in any game this month to overcome the outing of Justin Grimm. The rookie right-hander was tagged for four runs in the fourth inning as Colby Rasmus hit a two-run homer and J.P. Arencibia added a solo shot. Grimm, who pitched 7 2/3 innings, allowed seven runs on 10 hits.
Grimm, whose ERA is now at a hefty 5.59, was done in by his inability to get out of trouble in the fourth inning. Toronto opened the frame with a double and single and then Rasmus gave the Jays all the runs they would need by drilling a 0-2 pitch to right.
“I’ve got to take this as a learning experience,” said Grimm, who has allowed 19 earned runs in his three June starts and seen his ERA go up by 1.66. “I didn’t go with my strengths. I know how to get those guys out and went away from it and it produced a big inning. I’ve got to learn a little damage control, really. It seems like that’s the difference in my last couple of outings.”