McClellan struggles as Reds top Rangers in 11th
JUN 29, 2013 10:38p ET
The Rangers were able to patch things together for six innings following a four-inning stint from Nick Tepesch Saturday night.
But in the 11th inning when they needed outs from little used Kyle McClellan against the Cincinnati Reds, it all came crashing down.
McClellan, who hadn't pitched in 10 days, hit the first batter he faced and then surrendered a two-run homer to Devin Mesoraco to give the Reds a 6-4 victory.
The Rangers weren't going to use Tanner Scheppers, who has pitched 15 times this month including four times on the recent road trip, in the 11th. McClellan, who has allowed runs in his last four appearances with the Rangers, was summoned instead and couldn't deliver.
"I've just got to get outs," said McClellan, who now has a 7.71 ERA in his seven appearances with the Rangers. "There's no excuse for it. I did everything in between (appearances) to stay sharp. I just didn't get it done. It's disappointing. I feel like I let this team down. These guys battled all night."
The Rangers battled uphill from the start as Shin-Soo Choo hit the first Tepesch pitch to center for a home run. But despite having just five hits, the Rangers led 3-2 after three innings because they scored three runs thanks to three Cincy errors in the third inning.
The Reds scored two more off Tepesch and ended his night in the fifth but the bullpen kept the Rangers in the game long enough to force extra innings. Ross Wolf, who hadn't pitched since June 14, tossed three scoreless innings, Neal Cotts added 1 2/3 scoreless and Joe Nathan went 1 1/3 scoreless for just his second outing of more than an inning since he joined the Rangers.
While the bullpen was closing things down, the Ranger managed to tie the game at 4 on a Nelson Cruz RBI double in the sixth inning. Twice the Rangers thought they had the lead only to have the normally hitter friendly Rangers Ballpark deny them. A.J. Pierzynski's deep fly ball to center in the eighth would have been a homer on most nights. Same for Mitch Moreland, whose ninth-inning shot to right was flagged down by Jay Bruce instead of ending the game with a walkoff.
"He (Tepesch) gave us four but you have to tip to hat to what Wolfie (Wolf) did," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "He did a good job. Cotts came in and did a great job. Joe came in and did a great job. They just snatched it from us. We had our chance in the 10th inning with runners and first and third we just didn't get the hit."
The Rangers did have a chance in the 10th with a pair of two-out singles putting runners on the corners. But J.J. Hoover got Adrian Beltre to pop up to end the threat on a night when the Rangers were 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position.
"We had one hit for a long time and three runs, so they kind of gave us three runs," said Pierzynski. "I'm disappointed in the fact we didn't win, but other than that, I mean, their pitcher ( Mike Leake) did a great job keeping us off balance and we had a couple of chances we didn't cash in. We did cash in a couple that we shouldn't have, so it evens out."
The Reds missed out on chances too, many of which were provided by Tepesch. He hasn't won a game since May 12 and hasn't pitched more than 5 2/3 innings in his last three starts. Saturday the Red made him throw 91 pitches to get just 12 outs. He was done after allowing three-consecutive hits to open the fifth inning.
Tepesch was coming off his best start in a month last Sunday vs. St. Louis. He couldn't duplicate it against the Reds.
"They had a lot of deep counts on me today and I was working pretty hard and they saw a lot of pitches," said Tepesch, who is allowing opponents to hit .446 against him from the third time through the order on. "It was OK. I wouldn't say I'm happy with it. It could have gone a lot better, let's put it that way."