Texas Rangers

Texas Rangers’ pitching tells struggling offense to hold its beer

Much, if not all, of the concern surrounding the Texas Rangers of late has been the struggles of the offense to generate runs.

Monday night in Toronto, the pitching staff collectively told the offense to hold its beer.

The Blue Jays tagged starter Ariel Jurado for eight runs on 11 hits in 3 2/3 innings and kept hitting the rest of the night, pinning a 19-4 drubbing on the Rangers at Rogers Centre.

Texas tied its season-highs with 19 runs and 21 hits allowed. The Arizona Diamondbacks laid a similar beating on them on July 17 at Globe Life Park.

Toronto set a franchise record with 13 extra-base hits. The 19 runs are tied for third-most in team history and most since 2011.

The Blue Jays scored eight runs while batting around in the fourth to build a 13-1 lead. Adrian Sampson replaced Jurado in the inning but was rocked for five runs on three hits, including a grand slam by Brandon Drury in just a 1/3 of an inning. Toronto kept hacking and scored two runs off Brett Martin, Jesse Chavez and catcher Jeff Mathis, who saved another bullpen arm by pitching the eighth.

“They’ve been pitching really well,” Elvis Andrus said of Texas pitching. “Today was just one of those days. Those kids are really hot right now. You have to keep playing hard, keep pushing, stay positive. We still have too many games ahead and you have to believe that we can come tomorrow and win the game.”

The Rangers’ offense remains in a funk. Three of their four runs came on solo homers from Nomar Mazara, Willie Calhoun and Rougned Odor.

“I don’t want us to get caught up in the all-or-nothing mentality,” Manager Chris Woodward said. “That kind of seems the way it has been lately … I want our guys to drive the ball, and that’s obviously clear, but at the same time find some gaps, find some holes in the infield, try to piece together some quality at-bats so we can get some runners on base and create pressure one at-bat after another.”

The feast or famine scoring has been a recent trend. Of the 12 runs they’ve scored in the past five games, 10 have come on a home run.

“I think you try to do too much when you’re in a funk,” Andrus said. “The only way we’re going to get out of it is if everybody does their job. Everybody has to do the little things, stop thinking big and get back to the A-B-Cs.”

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Stefan Stevenson has been covering sports for the Star-Telegram since 1997. He spent five years covering TCU athletics, which included two BCS bowls, two trips to the college World Series and the move to the Big 12. He has covered the Texas Rangers since 2014 and started reporting on the Dallas Cowboys in 2016.