Texas Rangers

How bad are the Rangers? Losing three of four to White Sox raises question

Rangers SS Elvis Andrus does baseball activities

Texas Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus is on the disabled list, but did baseball activities for the first time Thursday in Chicago. He is hopeful to return when he's eligible to come off the disabled list on June 11.
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Texas Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus is on the disabled list, but did baseball activities for the first time Thursday in Chicago. He is hopeful to return when he's eligible to come off the disabled list on June 11.

The Texas Rangers and New York Yankees were the only two teams that hadn’t been shut out going into Sunday.

The Rangers no longer have that in common with the Yankees. In fact, they couldn’t be further apart going into their three-game series that starts Monday at Globe Life Park.

The Yankees are arguably the best team going in the big leagues. The Rangers made a compelling case as one of the worst teams over the weekend.

This is a team that lost three of four to the Chicago White Sox, owners of the worst record in baseball. The White Sox took the series with a 3-0 victory on Sunday, holding the Rangers to just two hits on the day.

"Effort is there, however, we’ve got to reassess what our identity is and who we are," manager Jeff Banister said. "I know we’re a better ballclub than this. I know that our hitters should be able to pose a better attack than we did today."

Sunday's game also marked the first time the White Sox had shut out a team this season.

Sure, credit deserves to go to White Sox pitcher Reynaldo Lopez, who earned his first win of the season with eight scoreless innings, and Jace Fry, who earned his first save with a perfect ninth.

But the Rangers didn’t put up much of a fight.

"We missed a lot of fastballs," outfielder Shin-Soo Choo said. "[Lopez] did a good job, but still we had better chances to hit his fastball."

Texas Rangers left-hander Jake Diekman has used his platform to raise awareness for Inflammatory Bowel Disease, and Saturday was "World IBD Day." He hosted a group from Chicago area.

The leadoff man reached in the second and third innings and didn’t threaten to score. The worst may have been the third when backup catcher Carlos Perez had a leadoff double and the top of the order didn’t produce.

Delino DeShields struck out, Choo grounded out and Jurickson Profar struck out. That started a stretch of Lopez retiring 11 straight.

The Rangers had just two more base runners the rest of the day – on a two-out error in the sixth and a two-out walk in the eighth.

It capped a dreadful series for the Rangers, one in which they were outplayed by the worst team in the majors.

Just think about it – the White Sox entered the series with the worst record and the fewest runs scored in the majors. They’d lost 11 of 13 games to start this month.

Yet, they got back on track against the Rangers.

Doug Fister turned in his best start of the season Thursday with seven scoreless innings, but the Rangers bullpen couldn’t shut it down in the series-opening loss. Matt Moore couldn’t make it through four innings in the Rangers’ lone win of the series – 12-5 on Friday.

Texas Rangers manager Jeff Banister discusses a rotation that could include four left handed starters including Matt Moore (video by Mac Engel/Star-Telegram).

On Saturday, Ariel Jurado made his big-league debut and surrendered four runs with two outs. And, on Sunday, the offense fell flat on a day the pitching staff combined for 13 strikeouts.

This is a team that has allowed a major league-leading 29 unearned runs. This is a team that has an AL-worst .226 batting average.

But Banister isn’t concerned about the team losing morale.

"No. C’mon now," Banister said. "I know this ballclub. I know these guys. That’s not in their DNA. This coaching staff is not going to let that happen. That’s not who they are. That’s not their identity. They’ll come back out tomorrow at home and play with the energy that they’ve always played with.

"You learn in this business that you put today behind you when it’s done. Today doesn’t mean anything based on what tomorrow is."

Texas Rangers manager Jeff Banister was ejected for the first time in 2018 on Thursday. He wasn't pleased with the strike zone of umpire Paul Nauert as his team lost 4-2 to the Chicago White Sox.

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