Texas Rangers

Rangers Reaction: Profar, Hamels plead guilty for Rangers' loss to Red Sox

Boston Red Sox Mookie Betts, bottom, slides safely into home in front of Texas Rangers catcher Robinson Chirinos, top, during the seventh inning of Saturday's game in Arlington. Betts took advantage of outfielder Jurickson Profar's indecision on an outfield fly ball.
Boston Red Sox Mookie Betts, bottom, slides safely into home in front of Texas Rangers catcher Robinson Chirinos, top, during the seventh inning of Saturday's game in Arlington. Betts took advantage of outfielder Jurickson Profar's indecision on an outfield fly ball. AP

The nice lady at the guest relations desk in right field didn't see the Joey Gallo homer in the second inning, and the other nice lady who did was taking a break or something when the intrepid Texas Rangers Reaction made its way to the scene.

But the first nice lady said that the missing nice lady told her that the Gallo homer, measured at 466 feet and hit at 116.8 mph, sailed high over the lower level of seats in right field, across the wide concourse and into the middle row for the all-you-can-eat seats.

That's where it struck a boy in the back. The nice lady thought it startled him (good bet), but the boy picked himself off the floor after receiving some medical attention and went upstairs to gorge himself.

There was no word if the boy got the ball or how old the boy was or what name he answers to. But if he didn't get the ball, he will have a souvenir on his back for a week or so.

That Gallo blast, his 11th of the season, was the Rangers' only hit through 4 2/3 innings, then single, walk, three-run homer. Gallo connected again in the sixth.

Guess what?

Here's some Rangers Reaction from a 6-5 loss to the Boston Red Sox.

1. Jurickson Profar is the face of the latest Rangers loss.

His defensive play in the seventh inning, when he paused while standing on the line in shallow left field and gave enough time for Mookie Betts to race home, was the worst of it.

But wait: There's more!

Profar also was the final out of the Rangers' eighth, which opened with a single and double to put runners at second and third with no outs.

The Rangers didn't score.

Profar was nothing but a pro afterward.

Profar explained the play that fueled the Red Sox's two-run game-tying rally. He had chased Andrew Benintendi's flare into left field, and Betts had stopped at third.

"I heard 'two' and I turned to throw it to second and I had no play," Profar said. "I took a couple seconds, and he took off and my throw was late. On that play I have to be better."

On his called strikeout on the 11th pitch of his at-bat against Joe Kelly to end the eighth, he again shouldered all the responsibility.

"I didn't help the team, so it wasn't a good at-bat," Profar said. "I didn't do a good job there, and that's why we lost the game."

Profar was probably being a little hard on himself there, as he wasn't the only hitter who didn't get Delino DeShields home to snap a 5-5 tie. The play in the field looked bad, or at least that's what everyone on Twitter is saying, but Profar didn't shy away from it.

And that play alone didn't cost the Rangers. Or that's what starting pitcher Cole Hamels said.

2. Hamels said the loss boils down to his inability to keep the momentum on the Rangers' side in the sixth inning.

DeShields had just connected for a three-run homer in the fifth for a 4-1 lead. Momentum was on the Rangers' side, and Hamels needed to post a goose egg and get the bats going again.

Instead, Mitch Moreland hit a two-run homer with one out, a ball that hit off Shin-Soo Choo's glove at the top of the right field wall and bounded into the seats similar to how DeShields' home hit off the top of the left-field wall and become a souvenir.

Instead of it being 4-1, it was 4-3. Though Gallo connected again in the Rangers' sixth, Hamels said that he has picked the Red Sox off the mat.

"The sixth inning is pretty much kind of what turned the tide," Hamels said. "It got them back in it and stole the momentum we had established. You can't give life to a team like Boston. You have to shut them down and you have to keep them quite."

Hamels also lamented another mistake he made, walking No. 9 hitter Christian Vazquez in the fifth. Renato Nunez whiffed on a Betts grounder to third that could have been a double play, and Vazquez scored the tying run as Benintendi's chopper hit off second base.

Hamels didn't want to insult Vazquez, but he was the No. 9 hitter and the Rangers' No. 1 pitcher can't let him on base.

"That's an embarrassment right there," Hamels said.

He was also blunt when talking about his season so far. He's 1-4 with a 3.94 ERA, but continues to lament not being able to pitch deeper in games and issuing walks to hitters he should retire.

Say what you will about Hamels not being an ace anymore and not throwing hard enough anymore. The guy is the best the Rangers have, he knows what's expected of him, and it doesn't meet his expectations.

He sounded pretty fed up Saturday night.

3. Within that seventh inning came another opportunity to nitpick at the Rangers' bullpen management.

Jose Leclerc was lifted after a one-out walk to Betts, as the Rangers wanted left-hander Alex Claudio to face the lefty-hitting Benintendi. It didn't work out, but not because Claudio didn't make a good pitch.

Benintendi got lucky, and then Betts took advantage of Profar's indecision.

Coming up next were right-handed hitters Hanley Ramirez and J.D. Martinez, who were both hitting .357 against lefties. Righty hitters were batting .488 against Claudio. Not .388 but .488.

Yikes.

But Claudio faced both, retiring Ramirez before surrendering the game-tying single to Martinez. Claudio got another righty hitter, Xander Bogaerts, to end the inning. He was batting only .353 against lefties.

Manager Jeff Banister said that the Rangers liked Claudio against that set of hitters, beginning with the obvious matchup against Benintendi. Liked? To be fair, Ramirez and Martinez had better slugging percentages against righties, and so did Bogaerts.

Banister also said that he didn't want to start running through relievers at that point in the game.

The Rangers had four righties available but only two options — Tony Barnette and Kevin Jepsen. Keone Kela was on ice for a save chance, and Jesse Chavez was on ice for extra innings.

It was a tough spot. A righty might not have fared any better than Claudio. Might have fared worse.

But it just didn't look or feel right.

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