Loss adds to another rough day for Rangers
JUN 08, 2014 7:40p ET
ARLINGTON, Texas - The way the Texas Rangers injury-ravaged lineup is currently constructed, legitimate scoring chances are a precious commodity that can't afford to be wasted.
That's just what happened to the Rangers Sunday on a day they lost first baseman Mitch Moreland before the game and second baseman Rougned Odor during it.
The Rangers failed to get the game-tying run in from third in the sixth inning in a 3-2 game and that ended up being the difference as Cleveland edged the Rangers by that score.
Texas had just six runners on scoring position Sunday, and missed on five of the six chances. The one in the sixth was crucial.
"You need to pick them up all the time whether you're hurting or not," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "It was just a situation where you always want the execution to happen. It just didn't happen."
Texas trailed 3-1 before Alex Rios made it a one-run game with an RBI triple to center. But Justin Masterson got Chris Gimenez to ground out to third and then Marc Rzepczynski got a grounder from Leonys Martin to end the threat.
Those may not have been the two players the Rangers were counting on to drive in key runs when the season began but because of injuries that's changed. Not getting that run in proved costly too as the Rangers had just two baserunners over the final three innings. One of those came on a one-out single by Luis Sardinas in the seventh inning.
The only reason he was playing was because Rougned Odor left the game in the fifth inning after spraining his right shoulder while getting picked off first base. He'll be re-examined by team doctor Keith Meister Monday but is currently day-to-day.
That injury came after the pregame news that Mitch Moreland would be out for around three months as he's having ankle surgery Wednesday.
It was a day of bad news and losing baseball for the Rangers but that doesn't change the objective, regardless of the starting nine for Texas.
"It is tough but the only way you can see it is to keep going," said Rios, who had two of the six Texas hits but had a stolen base overturned by review in the eighth inning. "There's no other way to see it. If you quit it's going to be a long season so you might as well keep playing hard and do what you have to do."
It would help if someone would remove the "needle out of the voodoo doll" that left-handed starter Joe Saunders was referring do following his Sunday outing.
Saunders did his part to give the Rangers a chance. He pitched 5 2/3 and left with runners on first and second in a 1-1 game. But Shawn Tolleson allowed an RBI single and a sacrifice fly in the sixth, with Saunders absorbing both of those runs.
Saunders was strong early but seven of the final 12 batters he faced reached, including three on walks.
"It was one of those weird starts where I felt good early on and then I got of got shakier as the game went on with my command," said Saunders, who fell to 0-2. "I was just trying to hang in there the best I can. I feel good. Now it's just a matter of working through jams, getting out of jams, trying to get deeper in the ballgame. No excuses. I've just got to get guys out."