With the Major League movie theme running through the Texas Rangers’ clubhouse, or at least Derek Holland’s corner of it, go ahead and cue up Harry Doyle after the Rangers’ 6-0 loss Wednesday night.
The Rangers’ offense returned to its hapless ways against Vidal Nuno, an on-again off-again starter for the Seattle Mariners who was definitely on at Safeco Field. He allowed the lone hit Rangers hit in seven innings and struck out a career-high 10.
No explanation. ... He did a good job and kept us off-balance. We couldn’t create any opportunities.
Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus, on Mariners lefty Vidal Nuno
A night after the Rangers won and Houston, Minnesota and Los Angeles all lost, the opposite happened. As such, the Rangers are two games behind the Astros in the American League West and their lead for the second wild card is 1 ½ games over the Twins and 3 ½ over the Angels.
A night after swatting four homers, the Rangers had only four balls leave the infield.
4 Times the Rangers have been held to one hit this season, tying the club mark set in 2009.
Prince Fielder had the lone hit, a broken-bat single in the first, and never fathomed that would be it for the Rangers.
“Not at all,” Fielder said. “But it is what it is. If I knew, we’d get hits. We’re were just trying to go up there and hit it hard. That’s all we can do.”
Fielder said that Nuno was sneaky, and indeed the left-hander changed speeds effectively and even altered his delivery and his pace. The Rangers expected Nuno to rely on his off-speed pitches, but he was able to pile up six strikeouts through three innings.
He caught Robinson Chirinos looking to end the seventh on 106th and final pitch.
“The approach didn’t work for us,” manager Jeff Banister said.
Nuno hit two batters and walked two others, both in the second inning, but the Rangers had only one runner reach second base as they were one-hit for the fourth team this season to tie the club mark (2009).
“No explanation,” shortstop Elvis Andrus said. “He was controlling the ball pretty well. He didn’t give up any good pitches. It’s the first time we faced him. He did a good job and kept us off-balance. We couldn’t create any opportunities.”
The Mariners, meanwhile, scored five times against Martin Perez in five innings. Four of the runs came on two-two run homers by Mark Trumbo and Kyle Seager.
The Mariners loaded the bases with one out in the third and scored as Rougned Odor bobbled a double-play grounder and got only one out. Trumbo connected in the third, part of his 4-for-4 night, and Seager got Perez in the fifth.
5.43 The ERA for left-hander Martin Perez after his first 10 starts following Tommy John surgery.
The homer for Trumbo came on a changeup that he didn’t get low enough, and Seager launched a slider than hung over the middle of the plate. During his return from Tommy John surgery, Perez has struggled at times with the command of his off-speed pitches.
“The command is what gets you from time to time,” manager Jeff Banister said. “I didn’t feel like he was off a whole lot. I don’t feel like Martin is that far off.”
He was off just far enough, especially with that offense getting only one hit.
Cue up Harry Doyle.