ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) — “Very uncharacteristic baseball.” Manager Ron Washington’s words when asked to describe the Rangers weekend home sweep at the hands of the Baltimore Orioles.
“Plays that we usually take pride in making, we just haven’t made them.”
Sunday’s series finale epitomized Washington’s comments, as the Rangers committed two errors and countless mistakes in a 4-2 loss, the team’s seventh in eight games.
The Orioles plated two runs in an ugly second inning that included a missed fly ball by David Murphy and a bobbled grounder by shortstop Elvis Andrus.
“First of all, we get a sun ball. That gets away,” said Washington. “Then we get a routine double play. That gets away. And then they put two runs on the board.”
The Rangers, now a season-high three games behind AL West leading Oakland, did little offensively to support 22-year-old starter Martin Perez.
“I think we left too many guys on base. We have got to execute,” said Andrus following the loss.
The team scored seven runs in the three-game series, but stranded 26 baserunners — including six on Sunday.
But a critical baserunning mistake loomed large in the finale.
Trailing 4-0 in the fifth, second baseman Ian Kinsler singled to right field to score Andrus. Murphy, who received a late stop sign from third base coach Gary Pettis, was then caught in a rundown between third and home to end the inning.
“[Gary Pettis] wanted to send him and he second-guessed himself and got caught in between,” said Washington following the game. “That happens. Next time, just do what you think is right. If it turns out good, it turns out good. If it turns out bad, it turns out bad. You can’t play the game where you second-guess yourself.”
The Rangers begin a four-game series against the New York Yankees on Monday, with ace Yu Darvish coming off the 15-day DL to start the series opener.
Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland, who is batting .190 (16-84) since returning from the DL on June 21, says the team must shift their focus away from Baltimore and on to the Yankees.
“That’s the one things that’s great about this game,” said Moreland. “You get to come in and play tomorrow. A fresh start — a new nine innings.”
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