Rangers shutout by Tigers as slide extends to eight
JUN 27, 2014 12:15a ET
ARLINGTON, Texas - When the long relief man provides the highlight of the game, you know things aren't going well for the Rangers.
The losing streak is the Rangers' longest since 2005, and there aren't any easy answers to stopping it.
"Guys getting some base hits, and getting some base hits with runners in scoring position," manager Ron Washington said. "That's what it's going to take. It's as simple as that, going up there and when we have an opportunity, cash them in. We're just not doing it."
The Rangers barely had any opportunities against Tigers righthander Rick Porcello, who tossed his first career shutout. Porcello allowed just three hits and struck out six.
The Rangers didn't get their second hit of the game until the sixth inning. That was also their best scoring opportunity when Luis Sardinas and Leonys Martin led off the inning with back-to-back singles.
The opportunity was scuttled by one of three double plays the Rangers hit into, followed by an inning-ending strikeout by Shin-Soo Choo.
Meanwhile, Rangers starter Nick Martinez couldn't command his fastball and issued five walks in just 2 1/3 innings of work.
Martinez left with a 4-0 deficit before Baker took over to go the rest of the distance.
"Just one of those days," Martinez said. "I couldn't really find it. I didn't really feel like I was nibbling out there, but in hindsight it was probably what happened. It just wasn't there."
Baker gave the Rangers offense a chance to play catch-up by allowing just one run until the eighth. His second run allowed was on a double by the always-dangerous Miguel Cabrera, but that was Cabrera's only extra-base hit out of four on the night.
"Tremendous job," Washington said of Baker. "He came in and bridged the gap and kept the bullpen out of the game tonight. It could have been a disaster."
Baker's pitching kept it from being a rout, but like the other seven losses during the streak, the offense hasn't shown much life.
"We know that we're a way better team than the way we're playing right now," shortstop Elvis Andrus said. "As soon as they scored a few runs, we shot ourselves down a little bit. That's not the way we play. We fight until the last pitch and we haven't done that lately."
The Rangers' last 11 batters were sent down in order by Porcello.
"I hate to use that word (frustrated), I think it's more that we have to execute," Andrus said. "We know that we're going through a tough moment right now, but the only way we're going to get out of that is playing hard and be aggressive in any part of the game right now."
Follow Keith Whitmire on Twitter: @Keith_Whitmire