May 17, 2012

Rangers' sellout crowd goes unrewarded with 10-inning loss

Rangers go 3-4 on homestand despite five sellout crowds.

ARLINGTON -- Michael Young isn't worried about it. Neither is manager Ron Washington.

The Texas Rangers had a lackluster homestand, going 3-4 on it despite five sellout crowds. It ended with a 5-4, 10th-inning loss to the Oakland Athletics on Thursday afternoon at a sold-out Rangers Ballpark.

The Rangers have dropped three of their last four to Kansas City and Oakland.

They had plenty of opportunities to win Thursday, too. They had a lead after the sixth and had a 21-2 record in closing those games out, but squandered it away. Then they were in position for their first walk-off victory of the season, but they couldn't push in the winning run from third with one out in the ninth. In the end, they stranded 14 runners and went 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position.

"We didn't play very well the last few games, but this is a team with a lot of experience," Young said.

"You can't be frustrated with one game because that frustration is going to end up snowballing," Washington said. "We've just got to come out and play ball and take advantage of opportunities. ...We had a couple today and we didn't."

The most notable opportunity lost came in the ninth.

With the game tied 4-4 and A's reliever Ryan Cook on the mound, Young led off with a grounder that went through the legs of A's third baseman Josh Donaldson. That error put a runner in scoring position with no outs for the Rangers.

Young moved to third on a groundout by Adrian Beltre. Oakland then issued an intentional walk to David Murphy to get the double-play possibility, bringing up Nelson Cruz. Cruz, who entered the game with a .323 average over his past 16 games, struck out swinging on three pitches.

With two outs, the A's started to pitch to Mike Napoli, but eventually walked him to load the bases and face Brandon Snyder.

Snyder didn't come through, rolling a grounder down the first-base line to end the inning.

"I'll take that situation any time with those guys up at the plate who didn't get it done," Washington said. "I would've felt comfortable with anybody right there, but we just didn't get it done."

Snyder entered the game in the seventh inning as a pinch hitter for Mitch Moreland, who homered in his two previous at-bats. Washington made that decision once Oakland brought in lefty Jordan Norberto.

Moreland has hit .188 against left-handers this season while Snyder has hit .364.

"I felt comfortable with Snyder," Washington said.

Moreland didn't argue Washington's decision: "I want to get as many at-bats as I can. I always want to play, but that's the way it goes. He's the manager. He makes the decision."

In the 10th, Oakland took advantage of an opportunity that went its way against Rangers reliever Mike Adams.

Jonny Gomes reached on a dribbler that stayed fair down the third-base line, moved to third on a single by Daric Barton and scored the game-deciding run on a single by Kila Ka'aihue.

Oakland left-hander Brian Fuentes worked around a one-out single by Ian Kinsler to close it out in the 10th. Adams was charged with the loss, although he felt as though he made only one mistake to Ka'aihue on the day.

"It's disappointing," Adams said. "I made every pitch but one. Just one of those days. The baseball gods weren't on our side today."

Drew Davison, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @drewdavison

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