Texas Rangers

One win, one hit remain elusive for Rangers, Beltre

Jose Fernandez, left, connected for a two-run homer to cap the Angels’ four-run third inning Wednesday, and Rangers catcher Robinson Chirinos wasn’t too thrilled.
Jose Fernandez, left, connected for a two-run homer to cap the Angels’ four-run third inning Wednesday, and Rangers catcher Robinson Chirinos wasn’t too thrilled. The Associated Press

The West Coast has not been kind to the Texas Rangers this season. Of course, it’s not like they have found refuge in other parts of the major leagues.

Of their 16 games remaining this season, six are in California and four are in Seattle. The Rangers are 1-5 five so far on their current nine-game California trip with three games to go this weekend at San Diego.

They are 10-19 in the Pacific Time Zone this season, 5-14 since splitting their first 10, and 1-7 in their past eight.

The Rangers might have had a chance Wednesday against the Los Angeles Angels if Yovani Gallardo had only needed to record two outs in the second and third innings instead of three.

Here’s some Rangers Reaction from an 8-1 loss.

1. The Rangers need one win in the final 16 games to avoid a 100-loss season. They’ve already missed their first two tries at guaranteeing that they lose no more than 99 times in 2018.

The San Diego Padres won’t be patsies, but they actually have fewer wins than the Rangers. Win No. 63 should be straight ahead.

Should be.

The Rangers haven’t quit. Any suggestion that they have might cause manager Jeff Banister’s head to pop off. You can say that the Rangers didn’t pitch well or didn’t have a good game defensively or were lost at the plate, but don’t ever tell him that his team has quit or lacks energy.

They just lack a winning touch. Take the game Saturday at Oakland.

The Rangers forged an eighth-inning tie against arguably the best bullpen in baseball only to see it disappear with the first A’s batter in the bottom of the inning.

On Tuesday, they needed a two-out single in the eighth inning to tie the game, and Jurickson Profar appeared to deliver it. Kaleb Cowart, though, stuck his glove in front of the ball to rob Profar, and the Rangers lost 1-0.

There’s a been a lot of that this season, and that’s why the Rangers are still searching for their elusive 63rd victory. It’s not an insignificant win, and it should be straight ahead.

2. If not for one swing by Joey Gallo, against a left-handed pitcher no less, the Rangers would have been shut out for a second consecutive game.

Gallo, though, is big and strong, and frequently hurts baseballs when he makes contact. He sent a Williams Jerez pitch out to left field in the seventh inning to snap the Rangers’ 16-inning scoreless drought.

It was home run No. 36 and RBI No. 86. Gallo is capable of hitting homers each time he bats, and it won’t be a surprise if he reaches 40 homers again this season. Reaching 100 RBIs is going to be a tough task.

It’s not a one-man job.

Adrian Beltre went hitless over the three-game series against the Angels, in part because he hit too many balls in the vicinity of center fielder Mike Trout. The best player in baseball robbed Beltre three times.

Had one of those balls fallen in, Beltre would have tied George Brett for the most hits in MLB history by a third baseman (3,154). Two would falling in would have moved Beltre to the top of the third-base heap (and 15th overall).

That one should happen this weekend, though he might not play all three games with the designated hitter not used in National League ballparks.

3. Gallardo was replaced after only three innings. The Angels scored six times in the second and third, and Banister thought that was enough from Gallardo.

Each run came with two outs, including four in the second after a Shohei Ohtani double.

Ohtani was called safe on a close play, so close that shortstop Elvis Andrus immediately called for the bench to challenge it. A TV replay showed that he had a case, but the Rangers played on.

Justin Upton followed with an RBI triple just past the dive of Shin-Soo Choo in left field, and Jose Fernandez swatted a two-run homer two batters later.

It didn’t get any better, as the Angels tacked on a couple more runs against the portion of the bullpen that pitches when the Rangers are trailing badly — Bibens-Dirkx, Matt Moore and Eddie Butler.

The proverbial waiving of white flag. No, not the one signifying the last lap of an auto race.

The checkered flag is only 16 games away.

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