ARLINGTON, Texas – The Texas Rangers actually got some good news on the injury front Monday night.
Alex Rios’ bum right ankle isn’t too bad as an MRI revealed just a sprain and he could be in the lineup as early as Tuesday night. Jurickson Profar, who hasn’t played at all this season before of a torn muscle in his right shoulder, has also been cleared to begin a throwing program in hopes that he’s ready to play somewhere this winter.
Unfortunately for the Rangers that was all the good news they were getting as once the game against the Tampa Bay Rays began, it was nothing but ugly.
The Rangers had just three hits and right-hander Colby Lewis, whose pitching over the last month has put him in the rotation picture for 2015, had a bad outing as Tampa Bay blanked the Rangers 7-0.
The Rangers dropped to 46-72 on the season. The 72 losses match their total from a 2013 season in which they played 163 games.
Lewis was the best bet for the Rangers to avoid loss No. 72 but it wasn’t happening.
Lewis struggled through five innings but would have to been near perfect on a night the Rangers were shut out for the seventh time. But Lewis was far from perfect. The right-hander, who had a 2.30 in his four post All-Star break starts, survived a shaky first but wasn’t so lucky in the second.
Tampa Bay scored three times with a Lewis throwing error on a bunt attempt scoring the first run. A two-run single by Matt Joyce jumped the lead to 3-0 for the Rays. Two innings later hits by Ben Zobrist and Evan Longoria pushed the lead to 5-0 and helped pave the way for a quick exit for Lewis.
Lewis placed the blame for his outing squarely on himself.
"I played dumb baseball," he said. "Tonight I just beat myself. Really that’s all there is to it. I walked guys, the leadoff guy in the second (Cole Figueroa). I threw a ball way down the line. That was it. I beat myself that’s all there is to it."
He was trying to become just the third Texas starters this season to win three-consecutive decisions but instead allowed five hits, walked four and gave up five runs while throwing 101 pitches in five innings.
Texas’ offense in support of Lewis was offensive. Daniel Robertson’s bunt single in the third inning and Adrian Beltre’s single to left in the seventh were the only hits the Rangers had against lefty Drew Smyly in the first seven innings. Texas did load the bases in the eighth but Jim Adduci, pinch-hitting for Monday’s No. 3 hitter J.P. Arencibia, grounded out to short to end the only scoring threat Texas had all night.
The Texas offense ended the night with Arencibia in a 1 for 20 slump, Leonys Martin 1 for 21 and Adduci 2 for his last 23. Those kinds of number make it tough to sustain much even for an offense that’s going good.
"He (Smyly) nibbled around the zone," Robertson said. "He threw well and he had a good night. They had a couple of guys that started swinging at the top of their lineup and it just kind of rolled through their lineup, with each guy having a chance to contribute."