ARLINGTON -- Mike Napoli faced the camera lights and digital voice recorders Friday night in the home clubhouse as fireworks were being shot off above Rangers Ballpark.
The catcher/first baseman, who will be appearing in his first All-Star Game on Tuesday, had just finished up a game that was a total dud and would have preferred to not be pressed on it.
He went 0 for 3 at the plate, leaving five runners on base, and committed a critical error that fueled a third-inning rally.
Napoli isn't the only Texas Rangers player struggling, but he's the current poster boy for their recent woes after they lost their fifth consecutive game.
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Minnesota scored three two-out runs in the third, two coming after Napoli botched a popup, and a struggling offense couldn't solve a wild Francisco Liriano in a 5-1 defeat.
The Rangers are riding their longest losing streak of the season, and they also lost Josh Hamilton in the fifth inning with lower back spasms. He's day-to-day, which is actually better than the Rangers' offense.
"I'm disappointed, but no one is more disappointed than those guys in the clubhouse," manager Ron Washington said. "No one in this room, in the stands and nowhere in Texas wants to win more than those guys.
"We've hit a funk. The only way we can come out of it is we're going to have to keep playing and grind our way through it."
The Rangers have scored nine runs during their losing streak as the bulk of the lineup has gone cold. On Friday, they couldn't take advantage of six walks in 6 2/3 innings from Liriano (3-7).
Napoli, though, has seen his average dip to .230 thanks to a 26-for-129 (.202) swoon in his last 41 games. He's 3-for-27 (.111) in his last seven.
He walked with two outs and the bases empty in the eighth inning but had batted with runners in scoring position and less than two outs in each of his first three at-bats.
His biggest miss came in the sixth, after the Rangers had opened with a single, a walk and an RBI single by Nelson Cruz. Napoli was ahead in the count but grounded a 2-0 fastball into a rally-killing double play.
"What, I sit him?" Washington said. "I won't sit him. You're going to have to sit around and you're going to have watch, and you're going to have to wait and see what happens.
"His timing is off bad. That's it. The only way he's going to get his timing is to go up there and continue to swing the bat."
Napoli, though, was more concerned about the play he didn't make in the third inning behind Martin Perez (1-1).
The Twins had scored once with two outs on a Joe Mauer single for the game's first run, and Josh Willingham lofted a popup behind first base that Napoli tracked off the bat.
But he flat missed it for a two-base error that allowed Mauer to score. Justin Morneau followed with a soft single to right field that made it 3-0.
"I've got to catch a pop fly," Napoli said. "If I catch it, it's probably a different game."
Hamilton went down two innings later from spasms that started as he started to chase a flyball that he would drop for a three-base error. He said the back didn't cause the fielding gaffe, but he didn't bat in the bottom of the inning.
He missed three games earlier this season with back spasms, though they were in the middle of his back. Hamilton received a record number of votes for the All-Star Game and expects to play Tuesday.
"I'm not worried as much about the All-Star Game as I am playing tomorrow and Sunday," said Hamilton, who was feeling better but still wasn't 100 percent after the game.
Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760