Rangers struggle at plate, have 4 errors in loss to Mariners
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The Texas Rangers had a tough night at the plate and in the field.
The Rangers managed just five hits to lower their major league-worst batting average to .210, and made four errors in a 5-2 loss to the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday night.
“It’s about putting a good swing on the baseball,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said about the team’s hitting struggles. “We’re still aggressive. We’re swinging until it’s a ball, and looking to drive the ball.”
The errors gave Texas 21 miscues in 21 games this season.
“It’s obviously not the way they want to play defense,” Banister said. “We will get that cleaned up.”
Logan Morrison had a tiebreaking, two-run double in the fifth inning on a play that could have been another error.
With the score tied 2-2 and the bases loaded in the fifth inning, Morrison bounced a grounder that eluded the reach of first baseman Kyle Blanks and went into the right-field corner as two runs scored.
“That ball down the line, that’s a play we need to make,” Banister said.
Morrison said he was thinking, “Don’t get doubled up” on the play. “It got through. Then they gave me a double and . ooh, I’ll take it.”
Pitching coach Mike Maddux went to the mound before Morrison’s at-bat, but the Rangers kept Wandy Rodriguez in to pitch to the lefty-hitting Morrison. Morrison, who came in batting .149, had two of his four hits against the left-hander and improved to 7 for 14 in his career against him.
Rodriguez (0-1) gave up four runs and five hits in 4 1-3 innings.
“Wandy pitched on the edges,” Banister said. “I thought he ran some pitches in close that were just missing. I felt he did what we thought he would do.
“We wanted him to get some ground balls and keep it off the barrel (of the bat).”
Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz led off the second inning with a homer into the club level in left field. Only 19 homers have reached that level in 22 seasons, and the former Ranger has hit three of those. A walk and two singles loaded the bases, but Rodriguez gave up only one more run when Mike Zunino grounded into a double play.
Texas tied the score with two runs in the bottom of the second. Carlos Peguero doubled to drive in one run and then scored on Carlos Corporan’s single.
After that, the Rangers had just three hits. Starter Felix Hernandez (4-0), Danny Farquahar and Fernando Rodney (seventh save) retired Texas’ final 13 batters..
Rangers: 1B Mitch Moreland had surgery was to remove a loose particle from his left elbow earlier in the day. He went on the disabled list retroactive to Tuesday, and is expected back next month.
Mariners: 3B Kyle Seager was not in the starting lineup because of a sore thumb that has been bothering since he jammed it while swinging at an inside pitch last week. Seager entered the game as a defensive replacement in the eighth to keep alive a streak of 147 straight games played.
Rangers: RHP Colby Lewis (1-2, 3.75) faces Oakland in the opener of a weekend series. Lewis is 7-1 with a 2.86 ERA in his last 12 starts vs. the Athletics dating back to 2010.
Mariners: A 10-game trip continues on Thursday with the first of four games at Houston.
LHP James Paxton (0-2, 6.86) is scheduled to make his first start at Houston in the opener of a four-game series that continues Seattle’s 10-game road trip.
MARTIN DOUBLE TROUBLE
Texas CF Leonys Martin continued his success against Hernandez with a fifth-inning double in three at-bats. Martin has a .344 career average (11 for 32) against King Felix. He was awarded the double when the right-field ball girl fielded his grounder that veered into foul territory past first base.