Rangers swept by A’s as home woes continue

Posted Sunday, Sep. 15, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

Who is most responsible for the Rangers' skid?

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

They said all the right things.

General manager Jon Daniels feels the Texas Rangers are still in good position, and he’s always going to bet on his team. Alex Rios believes the energy level hasn’t changed and the team remains optimistic about finishing strong. Joe Nathan isn’t concerned about the standings and is only worried about getting back in the win column.

But it’s hard to put a positive spin on the worst homestand in club history that ended with a 5-1 loss to the Oakland Athletics on Sunday afternoon. Never before have the Rangers gone winless on a homestand of at least six games, and the first time couldn’t have come at a worse time as the fans’ boos suggested.

The Rangers began the homestand with division title hopes, but have now positioned themselves as wild-card contenders. They started the homestand trailing the A’s by 11/2 games in the American League West and are now 61/2 games back with 14 to play.

They do remain tied with the Rays for the top wild card spot, although it’ll be a dogfight to stay there. The Indians are only a half-game back, and the Yankees and Royals are within striking distance.

“I am disappointed,” manager Ron Washington said of the A’s series. “I certainly expected us to respond better, but they out-pitched us. They certainly out-hit us, they punched the ball out of the ballpark. And they outscored us. The name of the game is to score runs and we just didn’t do it.”

The Rangers, who never led during the homestand and left 47 men on base, had their chances once again Sunday.

The day started off with seemingly good news for the Rangers, too, when the A’s scratched Yoenis Cespedes, who is batting .373 in September. Oakland also made a late pitching change when Jarrod Parker came down with an illness. Left-hander Tommy Milone, who had never beaten Texas in five career starts, made the emergency start.

Nothing, though, is helping the Rangers these days. Milone held the Rangers to one run over five innings, and four relievers closed it out by pitching out of jams.

The Rangers scored only one run on 10 hits, stranding 10 runners and going 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position. For the A’s series, they combined to hit 2 for 24 with RISP.

“It hasn’t gone the way we wanted it to,” said Ian Kinsler, who went 0 for 5 Sunday. “Am I surprised? Yeah, I guess.”

Trailing 2-1 in the second, the Rangers had a chance with runners at first and second with one out. But Kinsler flew out and Elvis Andrus lined out. They had runners at first and second with one out again in the fourth, but Craig Gentry flew out and Kinsler struck out.

The best chance might have come in the sixth. Jurickson Profar had a one-out single and moved to third on a single by Jim Adduci, but pinch hitter David Murphy flew out to shallow left and Leonys Martin popped out to short.

Rios and Adrian Beltre had consecutive two-out singles in the seventh only to see that threat end on a pop-up by Pierzynski.

“I’m not sure what’s going on,” Washington said. “I’ve never witnessed it before. Opportunities were there again, we just didn’t cash them in. That’s all I can say.”

The Rangers found themselves in another early hole as well. Starter Martin Perez gave up two runs in the first inning, including a solo homer to Josh Donaldson, and Chris Young took him deep in the third to make it 3-1.

That was all Perez allowed over 61/3 innings, and the A’s didn’t score again until Josh Reddick had a two-run homer off Joakim Soria in the ninth to seal the game.

Maybe getting back on the road will help revive the Rangers. They are 42-32 away, compared with 39-35 at home. And, despite the worst homestand in club history, they are still in the postseason mix.

“We’re still in the race and we need to stay focused,” Andrus said. “That’s the biggest thing for us. Turn the page and go out there and play hard the next game, the next at-bat. Whatever happened, happened. Just turn the page.”

Drew Davison, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @drewdavison

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?

Friday, November 28Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Friday, November 28Full Scoreboard
Chicago 11/28 1:00 PM ET
Golden State 11/28 7:00 PM ET
Charlotte TV: CSN-BA, SPSO
New Orleans 11/28 7:30 PM ET
Atlanta TV: FSN-NO, SPSO
Milwaukee 11/28 7:30 PM ET
Dallas 11/28 7:30 PM ET
Toronto TV: FSN-SW, TSN2
LA Clippers 11/28 8:00 PM ET
Orlando 11/28 8:00 PM ET
Indiana TV: FSN-FL, FSN-IN
New York 11/28 8:00 PM ET
Oklahoma City TV: MSG, FSN-OK
Sacramento 11/28 8:30 PM ET
San Antonio TV: CSN-CA, FSN-SW
Phoenix 11/28 9:00 PM ET
Denver TV: FSN-AZ, Altitude
Memphis 11/28 10:00 PM ET
Portland TV: SPSO, CSN-NW
Minnesota 11/28 10:30 PM ET
Full Scoreboard
Week 13Full Scoreboard
Chicago17Final | Box
Detroit «34Gridiron Replay
Philadelphia «33Final | Box
Dallas10Gridiron Replay
Seattle «19Final | Box
San Francisco3Gridiron Replay
San Diego 1:00 PM ET
Baltimore TV: CBS
Cleveland 1:00 PM ET
Buffalo TV: CBS
Tennessee 1:00 PM ET
Houston TV: CBS
Washington 1:00 PM ET
Indianapolis TV: FOX
NY Giants 1:00 PM ET
Jacksonville TV: FOX
Carolina 1:00 PM ET
Minnesota TV: FOX
New Orleans 1:00 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: FOX
Oakland 1:00 PM ET
St. Louis TV: CBS
Cincinnati 1:00 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: CBS
Arizona 4:05 PM ET
Atlanta TV: FOX
New England 4:25 PM ET
Green Bay TV: CBS
Denver 8:30 PM ET
Kansas City TV: NBC
Miami 8:30 PM ET
Full Scoreboard
Friday, November 28Full Scoreboard
NY Rangers 11/28 1:00 PM ET
Philadelphia TV: NBC, SN
Chicago 11/28 4:00 PM ET
NY Islanders 11/28 5:00 PM ET
Washington TV: MSG, CSN-DC
Winnipeg 11/28 7:00 PM ET
Boston TV: TVA Sports 2, TSN3, NESN
Montreal 11/28 7:00 PM ET
Buffalo TV: RDS, MSG-BUF
Detroit 11/28 7:00 PM ET
New Jersey TV: FSN-DET, MSG+
Carolina 11/28 7:00 PM ET
Vancouver 11/28 7:00 PM ET
Columbus TV: SN-PAC, FSN-OH
Ottawa 11/28 7:30 PM ET
Florida TV: RDS2, TSN5, FSN-FL
Edmonton 11/28 8:00 PM ET
St. Louis TV: SN-W, FSN-MW
Minnesota 11/28 8:30 PM ET
Dallas TV: FSN-N+, FSN-SW+
Full Scoreboard