ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The blame game for the Texas Rangers 12-inning loss Wednesday wasn’t being played Thursday afternoon in manager Ron Washington’s office, though it was played on Metroplex airwaves and on the most irrefutable forum around, Twitter.The loss, though, had worn down Washington, who said that he didn’t get to sleep until almost 3 a.m. Thursday after rehashing the good and the bad of the 4-3 loss that could have easily gone the other way.There was good, like six innings from Derek Holland and the aggressive base running of Elvis Andrus to score the go-ahead run in the 11th inning. But the missed chance at a double play in the sixth and the missed opportunity with runners at second and third with one out in the 12th also rattled around his head.“About 2:30 I was able to close my eyes, and my brains, what little I got, shut down,” Washington said.Washington defended rookie Jurickson Profar, whose wide throw on the would-be double play extended the inning and led to a two-run, game-tying homer by Sean Rodriguez. Any second baseman could have made the same throw, Washington said.“I’ve seen Profar field his butt off,” he said. “I didn’t think it was a young mistake. I just thought it was a mistake. That’s all.”Perez wants in and outRookie left-hander Martin Perez has taken to throwing the pigskin around between starts to help him with his conditioning as he heads toward the end of the season.American football isn’t even on the radar in Perez’s home country of Venezuela Asked who his favorite quarterback is, he said, “Derek Holland.”Perez’s focus is on what should be his second-to-last start of the season, tonight at Kansas City. He has taken a loss in each of his past two starts, but thinks he found the solution Sunday against Oakland.“I have to move the ball in and away,” Perez said. “My last game, after the third inning, that’s what I started to do.”Command issues, not the pressure of being in a postseason race, are what let Perez down.“September is a big month for us,” Perez said. “If you like to compete, it’s easy to pitch these games.”All hands on deckTanner Scheppers, Neal Cotts and Joe Nathan entered Thursday having pitched on consecutive days, and Jason Frasor had worked two of three but warmed during each game.Ordinarily, those key bullpen pieces would likely get a day off, but these aren’t ordinary times for the Rangers.“If we get in position and have a chance to put the game away, those guys we’ve been using all year to put the game away will be out there,” Washington said. “I don’t think anyone is concerned about getting rest right now.”Scheppers, who has logged a team-high 68 relief innings, agreed. Pitching coach Mike Maddux asks the relievers each day, and Scheppers isn’t expecting him to hear “no” too often.“You just try to prepare your body as much as possible,” Scheppers said. “You try to make yourself available every day. The competitive edge of it, you want to be in there every day. It’s just a matter of if your body allows it.”Briefly• Mitch Moreland, a left-handed hitter, got a start Thursday against Rays lefty Matt Moore because the right-handed-hitting Jeff Baker is limited by a groin injury and can’t play the field. “He might run into something,” Washington said. Baker was the DH.• Nelson Cruz made his Instructional League debut Wednesday in Surprise, Ariz., going 0 for 3 with a walk in a game against Kansas City’s prospects. Cruz, who is eligible to rejoin the Rangers once the regular-season ends, was expected to play Thursday.
Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @JeffWilson