ARLINGTON, Texas – Wins have been tough to come by for the Texas Rangers on their current nine-game homestand.
Tough enough that even when the Rangers are in position to win one they can’t finish the deal.
Tuesday night Texas beat itself, committing three errors after rallying for a lead and dropping an 8-5 decision to the Miami Marlins. The Rangers, who dropped to 2-6 on the stand, have now matched their low-water mark of the season at three games under .500.
"We fought back to get in that game and then we shot ourselves in the foot," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "We’ve just got to keep working. That’s all you can do. We’ve just got to keep working."
Tuesday’s loss didn’t have to happen if the Rangers would have made the fundamental plays. They didn’t. Texas erased a 4-1 deficit with a scrappy four run sixth inning that featured just two hits, a Miami error and heads up running on the basepaths by the Rangers.
But all that momentum came to a screeching halt in the top of the seventh as Jeff Mathis’ potential double-play grounder was booted by rookie Rougned Odor, giving the Marlins more chances. They took advantage of it too as Christian Yelich lined a two-run single to put the Marlins up top 6-5.
The one-run deficit ballooned to three in the eighth when the Rangers handed the Marlins two more runs, with Michael Choice and Tanner Scheppers each committing errors on a single from Casey McGehee’s single, completing a two-out span in which the Rangers had three errors. The two errors brought in one run and a double added the second.
With the Rangers in the midst of a 6-16 swoon trying too hard would seem like it could be an issue. That may be something the Rangers are trying to fight through now.
"We all want to win," said starter Colby Lewis, who pitched five innings and allowed three runs but didn’t factor in the decision. "That’s the bottom line. I don’t know if it was tonight or any other night. You go out there and do what you need to do and sometimes you step out of that realm. You want to win. That’s the bottom line. That’s what Wash is trying to do is put nine guys on the field and trying to field a winning ballclub."
The club the Rangers tried to win with Tuesday included three rookies to start the game and a fourth in the lineup after Leonys Martin was pulled after a pair of strikeouts and a lackadaisical play in center on a sixth-inning double by Christian Yelich.
Two of the rookies â Odor and Choice â were responsible for two of the errors. Odor did all he could on the grounder off the bat of Mathis but the ball skipped under his glove. He tried to take the error in stride.
"I expected it to bounce higher," Odor said. "The bounce was too straight, too low. That’s what I was expecting. That’s part of the game. You can’t help it."
The Rangers had some life in the bottom of the sixth as they scored four times with Brad Snyder bringing home a run with a walk, a sacrifice fly scoring another run and a wild pitch tying the game. Odor was in line to be the hero as his infield single gave the Rangers a 5-4 lead.
Then Texas gave it right back.
"It’s just human, physical mistakes," Washington said. "They’re out there playing, trying to do the very best they can and sometimes things just don’t go right. We’ve just got to keep battling until we get it right."