Rally once again eludes Rangers in loss to Orioles
JUN 05, 2014 12:27a ET
ARLINGTON, Texas - Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington has no choice but to play the hand he's been dealt with offensively.
Wednesday night when the Rangers needed it most it wasn't a winning one.
Texas couldn't rally late as the Orioles beat Texas for a seventh-consecutive time 6-5 at Globe Life Ballpark. The loss dropped the Rangers to 4-12 in their last 16 games at home and erased any momentum the club had created with a 7-4 road trip.
Rookie right-hander Nick Martinez allowed six runs (four earned) but Adrian Beltre got all but one of them back with his two homer, five RBI night.
When the Rangers needed to push across another run late to tie the game, they couldn't get it done. They tried everything from having No. 6 hitter Donnie Murphy try to bunt a runner over after a leadoff single in the eighth to pinch-hitting for No. 3 hitter Mitch Moreland in the ninth.
That's all the Rangers can do at this point with their pieced-together lineup but it wasn't an excuse after a loss dropped Texas to eight games back in the American League West, matching a season high.
"Some days you execute everything and some days you don't," said Murphy, whose bunt attempt following Alex Rios' single to open the eighth resulted in a force of Rios at second. "It's parts of baseball and it's been part of it the last couple of days. If we execute those there's a good chance we stay in the game and possibly win and we didn't."
Texas trailed 5-2 going into the bottom of the fifth thanks to a pair of unearned runs on a pair of Luis Sardinas errors. But Beltre erased that deficit with his second homer, a three-run shot of Bud Norris to tie the game at five after five.
The Rangers had runners on base in each of the last four innings but failed to put together a game-tying rally. Leonys Martin was stranded at second in the sixth after reaching on a single and an error with one out. A Sardinas one-out single in the seventh failed to produce a run. Murphy's bad bunt ended any momentum in the eighth. The night also started well after Elvis Andrus reached on a bunt single. But he was quickly erased on a double-play ball off the bat of Shin-Soo Choo.
Sardinas' third-single with two outs gave the Rangers a last glimmer of hope but Choice, who was pinch hitting for Moreland, struck out the end the game.
There were chances aplenty for the Rangers but not so many results.
"I'm trying to put the guys that swing the bats for us in position so they can drive in runs," Washington said. "It just hasn't been happening. We'll keep grinding and we'll put it together. That's all you can do."
It didn't help that Martinez and the defense couldn't slow Baltimore either. Sardinas, getting the start for Elvis Andrus at short, dropped a two-out popup in the first inning and the Orioles ended up scoring a run.
A Sardinas throwing error in the third helped pave the way for a three-run inning. Those kinds of things can't happen against a powerful Orioles' team that features former Texas sluggers Nelson Cruz and Chris Davis.
"We missed a couple of plays that should have been outs and that opened the gate for them to score a couple of runs," said Beltre, who notched the 26th multi-homer game of his career. "That might have been the difference, but who knows? That's baseball, and anybody makes mistakes."
The makeshift Rangers are finding that out the hard way.