Rangers' Jeff Banister: "We've got to be better" on the mound
The day started with the Texas Rangers making about as much noise as a team can muster in the first inning.
But the Boston Red Sox were much louder and left the Rangers’ postgame clubhouse about as quiet as it’s been in 2016.
The Red Sox slugged a season-high 21 hits, including 13 for extra bases to pummel the Rangers 12-5 Monday afternoon at Fenway Park.
13 Extra-base hits for the Red Sox Monday against the Rangers, tied for the most allowed by the club. The Red Sox also did it at Fenway Park on June 4, 2013.
The 13 extra-base hits allowed by Rangers pitchers ties a club record set in June 2013. You guessed it: Also in Boston. The 21 hits were the most the Rangers have allowed since May 6, 2014, in Colorado. Boston’s nine doubles were the second-most Rangers pitchers have surrendered since April 1999.
Most disturbingly, the Rangers have now lost a season-high three consecutive games for the first time since May 18 and have lost five of their past six games, their worst six-game stretch of 2016.
The Rangers are winding down a brutal stretch of 37 games in 38 days, which concludes Sunday before the All-Star break. Of those games, 21 will have been on the road.
The club has also played three consecutive day games, including an early 12:35 p.m. (Central time) start in Boston after flying in from Minnesota on Sunday night.
The Rangers weren’t offering any excuses and don’t want to hear any. Ian Desmond just shook his head. Manager Jeff Banister wasn’t having it before or after Monday’s game.
“I don’t think we’re ever going to use the schedule as an excuse. Can it be more challenging? Absolutely. I don’t think you can point to any one thing and say ‘ah, that’s why they haven’t won games,’ ” he said. “We’ve lost a few games lately because we haven’t pitched it well. We’ve made some mistakes defensively.”
He’s not trying to walk guys. He’s not trying to pitch from behind. It looks like, to me, he’s trying to be really precise on the edges.
Jeff Banister on Nick Martinez
Defense wasn’t the issue Monday. Nick Martinez, who was spotted a four-run lead after the Rangers pounced on Red Sox right-thander Rick Porcello with five hits in the first, exited after allowing six runs on 11 hits and three walks in 4 1/3 innings.
Martinez is tied with Derek Holland for the most hits allowed by a Rangers starter this season. He allowed seven of the 13 extra-base hits, including a two-run homer by Stephenville native Brock Holt in a four-run third that gave the Red Sox a 5-4 lead.
Porcello figured out the Rangers’ offense the next five innings and earned the win after being charged with four runs (three earned) on 12 hits.
The Rangers racked up 16 hits (one shy of their season-high), but 12 of them were singles. Rougned Odor’s opposite-field homer in the eighth off Koji Uehara snapped a string of six scoreless innings for Texas.
The Red Sox, however, never let up. They added two in the six, one in the seventh and three in the eighth to score in six of the eight innings they batted and tagged reliever Michael Roth, who was making his Rangers debut, for six earned runs on 10 hits over the final 3 2/3 .
The Rangers allowed a season-high 21 hits, the most they’ve allowed since May 6, 2014, at Colorado.
The Rangers begin a string of five night games Tuesday in Boston before finishing the first half with a day game against the Twins at Globe Life Park on Sunday.
“This is still a highly confident ballclub. Last I checked we were in a pretty good spot,” said Banister, whose club still has the most wins (52) in the American League. “We just need to continue to find a way to put some runs on the board. We’ve got a solid group of players who are going to give a great effort and play hard.”
Shortstop Elvis Andrus, who had two hits, including one of three doubles, said getting back to night games will be good. The past month has been a grind, he said.
“It has been, but you can’t make excuses for that. Every team goes through that,” he said. “Those day games, especially today with the flight [Sunday evening] kind of hit us, but you still have to go out and play well.
“Going back to night games will be pretty nice, at least be able to get some rest. We have an opportunity to even the series and try to win the last game. Our mindset is the same: Turn the page and be ready for tomorrow.”
Rangers at Red Sox
6:10 p.m. Tuesday, FSSW