Apr 28, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers first baseman Adam Rosales (9) reacts after striking out against the Seattle Mariners to end the fourth inning of a baseball game at Globe Life Park in Arlington.
ARLINGTON, Texas – Texas Rangers manager Jeff Banister said if his offense is pressing 20 games into the season then he doesn’t have the group of players he thinks he has on the team.
What he does have after 20 games is a team that’s 7-13 and hitting worse than any team in franchise history save for a 1972 squad that went 54-100.
That offense was once again on display Tuesday night as J.A. Happ and the Seattle Mariners limited the Rangers to six hits in a 2-1 loss, the fifth in six games for Texas.
Texas is now hitting .212 as a team after a night in which it managed five singles, a double and went 0 for 4 with runners in scoring position. And on the same night in which lefty Ross Detwiler had his best start of the season, limiting Seattle to two runs in 5 1/3 innings.
The Rangers have allowed just 3.2 runs a game over the last five games but have scored just 10 runs in that span. Pressing or not, something’s got to give for an offense that will now be without Mitch Moreland for at least 15 days as he’s scheduled to have surgery Wednesday.
"We’re lacking the key base hit, the one that makes you feel you can get back in the game and be comfortable," said shortstop Elvis Andrus, whose .226 average is now third highest among the Rangers starting nine Tuesday. "We haven’t been able. Even when we have good at bats they’re ever making good pitches or we’re not getting through in that situation. It’s not a good time to feel bad or get negative. Staying positive can create an opportunity."
There weren’t many opportunities against Happ Tuesday as he struck out a season high nine in his 6 2/3 innings of work and allowed just six hits. The Rangers didn’t score until the seventh inning and that run came on a Delino DeShields Jr. RBI double.
That was it for the offense though as Seattle scored two runs off Detwiler (0-3) in the fourth inning, the first being set up after Jake Smolinski misplayed a Nelson Cruz fly ball into a triple and the second on a Rickie Weeks homer.
Detwiler, who had a 10.95 ERA coming into the game, had allowed five earned runs in each of his first three starts and was skipped his last time around to work on the side. The work paid off Tuesday.
"I felt like it was a step in the right direction," Detwiler said. "I’m definitely not completely there. There’s a few pitches I’d like back obviously. It was a lot better than the first few."
Detwiler needed to be near perfect Tuesday though. The Rangers had three hits over the he first four innings but nothing came of them. Then Happ got into a groove and struck out seven batters in a three-inning span, including the side in the fifth inning.
The Rangers saw just 119 pitches vs six Seattle pitchers Tuesday and struck out 11 times. That’s not going to get this team out of its offensive funk.
"We’ve got to be able to string hits together, we’ve got to be on base," Banister said. "Tonight we didn’t do that as well as we’d like to. We had some opportunities but the strikeouts were in play for us tonight."