Rapid Reaction: Orioles 3, Rangers 1
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers came back from the four-day All-Star break with a listless performance against the Baltimore Orioles, losing 3-1 to the Orioles on Friday night.
Offensive woes: The Rangers have been dismal with runners in scoring in position all season, ranking 13th in the American League. They picked up where they left off on Friday night, going 0-for-10 in scoring situations. Catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who batted third in place of Nelson Cruz (who was out with a migraine), was 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position.
Holland delivers again: Derek Holland allowed four runs or less for the 19th time in 20 starts. He did put the Rangers behind in the second inning, allowing a two-out solo home run to Orioles catcher Matt Wieters. A leadoff walk in the third inning haunted Holland, as Nate McClouth's RBI double gave Baltimore a 2-0 lead. Still, Holland allowed only three runs in seven innings. He retired the last seven Orioles he faced.
Rally killed: The Rangers ran themselves out of the sixth inning. Jeff Baker started a rally with a single. With one out, Craig Gentry lined a double into right-center field. Baker was waved around third by coach Gary Pettis, who was then too late with the stop sign. Baker was easily thrown out at third by Brian Roberts. Jurickson Profar flew out to center field to end the threat.
Sloppy defense hurts: Holland got two quick outs to start the fifth inning, but then the Rangers failed to make two plays in the field. Ian Kinsler almost made a spectacular play, going behind second base on a ground ball by Manny Machado, but first baseman Mitch Moreland was unable to scoop up Kinsler's one-hop throw. Nick Markakis then hit a bloop into left-center field that appeared to be a routine play for Profar, but playing in only his fourth game in left field, he didn't get a good break on the ball. Profar compounded the problem when he didn't back up Gentry, who made a diving effort on the ball. Machado scored from first base to give Baltimore a 3-1 lead.
Beltre robbed: Adrian Beltre just missed a home run to start the bottom of the fourth, as Markakis went over the right field fence to take away a homer.
Welcome back Baker, Gentry: Baker and Gentry, who both came off the disabled list on Friday, helped manufacture the Rangers' first run in the bottom of the fourth. Baker had a one-out single after Beltre was robbed of his home run. Moreland walked, and on the play Baker stole third base when Machado failed to cover third base. Gentry followed with a sacrifice fly to left field as the Rangers cut Baltimore's lead to 2-1.
Up next: The Rangers try to even things up with Baltimore when right-hander Ross Wolf (1-2, 2.14 ERA) makes a spot start against Orioles right-hander Miguel Gonzalez (7-3, 3.48) at 7:15 p.m. Saturday night. The Rangers will induct Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez into the club's Hall of Fame with a pregame ceremony beginning at 6:25 p.m. On Sunday, the Rangers send left-hander Martin Perez (3-2, 3.00) to the mound against Baltimore right-hander Chris Tillman (11-3, 3.95) at 6:05 p.m. Sunday night. Both games will air on Fox Sports Southwest and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.
Play Podcast Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.