The Oakland Athletics made a daring move, one Texas Rangers GM Jon Daniels wished he could have made, but couldn't due to injuries and ineffective play, on Thursday afternoon.

In reality, the Rangers own the worst record in baseball, so making a trade to upgrade the current roster is pointless.

Needing more pitching for the pennant chase, the Athletics acquired one of the best pitchers in the game in Boston's Jon Lester and gave up a young outfielder in Yoenis Cespedes. The small-market Athletics most likely are renting Lester for the stretch run to cement themselves as baseball's best team.

Even Seattle made a move, acquiring outfielder Austin Jackson from the Detroit Tigers.

The AL West was all about moves at the deadline for the exception of the Rangers as the non-waiver trade deadline came and went. All Daniels could do is watch the proceedings without reaching deals to trade outfielder Alex Rios and reliever Neal Cotts.

Daniels did point out the Rangers did make two trades in acquiring minor league pitchers who should compete for roster spots within a year or so.

As for the Athletics, Daniels' club will face them seven more times, including a four-game set at Globe Life Park to end the 2014 season. Those games, at least the seven with the AL West leading A's, are meaningless for the Rangers from a standings perspective. All that's left is to evaluate the young talent Daniels plans to give manager Ron Washington.

"I love to see teams go for it," Daniels said. "I sure wish I was in that position right now. That's not been our mindset when you get it in front of you to take a shot. I admire the clubs that are doing just that."

The Athletics already have a powerful starting rotation, something the Rangers saw over three days last weekend in Arlington. In the short-term the Rangers shouldn't be worried about the Athletics with this Lester deal.

Concern about the future is something at the front of Daniels' mind.

Injuries to key players such as Prince Fielder, Mitch Moreland, Alexi Ogando, Geovany Soto, Derek Holland, Jurickson Profar, Engel Beltre, Martin Perez and Tanner Scheppers have sapped Daniels of the power he needed to compete this season.

Losing a power hitter in Fielder added more pressure to the lineup and not having Holland, who could return in September from knee surgery, as a No. 2 starter forced young pitchers to perform at the big league level before they're ready.

While the Astros are utilizing their best young talent, Daniels said he will do the same for the rest of 2014 and in the early stages of next season.

He doesn't have much choice given the moves made by the front office last winter.

Finding another quality starter is a must and he noted the Rangers tried to do that in the last few days before the trade deadline.

Is there another power hitter at the Winter Meetings to be had in December?

Is it worth picking up the option of Rios instead of possibly getting him through waivers and trading him?

Too many questions and not enough answers in a lost season for the Rangers.

"The health factor is real," Daniels said. "You're talking about some major contributors, guys expected to be major contributors that we got to get right. You know the list. I think even before looking at positions, we got to get more consistent production out of our own guys. We got to play better baseball and I think we have played better baseball over the last two weeks since the break (5-8). That's a good thing. it's got to continue. We got to get our core players to produce at their custom levels. We have some work to do this fall and winter in terms of lining things up and evaluate which of our young players are going to be ready to contribute and looking at potential acquisitions in a couple of different areas."
It didn't come as a surprise, but Texas Rangers GM Jon Daniels said Thursday that second baseman Jurickson Profar's season is over. Profar hasn't played this season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn teres major muscle in his right shoulder.

Daniels said Profar will undergo a MRI on August 12. If all goes well, Profar will start a throwing program in anticipation of getting ready to play in the instructional league in October.

"Our goal is to get him ready to play this winter," Daniels said in a conference call with reporters Thursday.

Losing Profar pushed another young player, Rougned Odor, to the majors. Odor made his debut May 8 and, at 20 years old and 94 days, was the youngest player to appear in a game this season. Odor has played 60 games at second base this season, more than anybody else on the team. The Rangers have used five second basemen in 2014.

Notes: Daniels also said that third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff had a setback in his recovery from back surgery and had to undergo anorther procedure. He is also done for the year. ... Pitchers Alexi Ogando (elbow) and Tanner Scheppers (elbow) are not expected to return this season. Neither is expected to have surgery. ... Prince Fielder (neck) and Mitch Moreland (left ankle) are also out for the season. "If we had been in the pennant race we could have pushed it [with Fielder]," Daniels said. "It just doesn't make sense based on where we are now."

No more moves for Rangers at deadline

July, 31, 2014
Jul 31
The non-waiver trade deadline came and went Thursday afternoon without any late activity from the Texas Rangers.

The two most-mentioned players -- right fielder Alex Rios and left-handed reliever Neal Cotts -- were the subject of trade talks, but nothing of substance occurred to force a deal.

"We exchanged proposals with a couple of clubs, but it just didn't line up," GM Jon Daniels said in a conference call with reporters on Thursday afternoon. "Ultimately that's Ok, we kinda come into it knowing a few things we were open to trying to do, especially where clubs are calling us. We had establish a level of value we wanted or we would just hold our guys. We didn't reach that so we're happy keeping the players we were asked about. We checked in on a few other things, controllable starting pitching primarily. The deal wasn't there and that's OK too."

The only trades the Rangers made this month were sending reliever Jason Frasor (July 16) to Kansas City and Joakim Soria (July 23) to Detroit for some young pitchers who can make an impact down the line.

Boston left-hander Andrew Miller was considered the best reliever on the market, and he was traded to Baltimore. With Miller off the market, it probably affected any potential deals for Cotts, who pitched a scoreless eighth inning in Wednesday's victory over the Yankees.

There were at least five teams in play for Cotts, and general manager Jon Daniels has said his goal is to obtain quality talent for the farm system for pending free agents. The Rangers expressed to Cotts' agent that they wanted him to return in 2015 even if he was traded.

As for Rios, some depleted power numbers (four home runs) and a bruised knee suffered Wednesday night might have scared off some suitors.

The Rangers have a $13.5 million team option on Rios for next year and, like with Cotts, are open to picking it up. Rios had roughly five teams interested in him and he had at least six clubs he could have vetoed a deal to, including the Diamondbacks, Rockies, Astros, Royals, Yankees and A's. Rios also has a $1 million buyout clause.
The non-waiver trade deadline is 3 p.m. CST and we've already got one blockbuster deal done with Boston sending Jon Lester to Oakland for Yoenis Cespedes.

We look at three players who might get traded by the Rangers today.

1. Neal Cotts. The left-handed veteran has been a solid reliever for the Rangers this season and there are four to five teams interested in his services. In 51 appearances he's got a 3.45 ERA with a 1.362 WHIP. If the Rangers trade Cotts it would leave them with just Ryan Feierabend as the lone lefty in the bullpen. The Rangers could call up another lefty to provide help in the bullpen but that appears doubtful for a variety of reasons. For almost a week, the Rangers have gone heavy in the bullpen, with seven, and short with just three position players and after the deadline this could change drastically. Jake Smolinski and Geovany Soto are on the DL, each eligible to return August 6, so expect the bullpen to drop to six. The Rangers do value Cotts and even if he's traded there's a sense the team would like to bring him back in 2015.
"It's out there (and) I just try to focus on each game and (if) things happen, things happen," Cotts said. "I enjoy it here and I hope to stay and we’ll see how it all plays out. I know its part of a business and I understand that side of it and we’ll see how it goes in the next day or so."

2. Alex Rios. He has never been a power hitter, Rios is more of a singles-doubles guy that can provide an extra bat for a contending team and it appears to be four teams making inquiries. His four home runs is pretty alarming considering he hit 18 last year and 25 in 2012. Rios overall is a solid hitter with a .305/.335/.430 slash line. He can provide a team with some power if need be and has played well for the Rangers this season in the field. He's recovered from a sprained ankle and left Wednesday's game with a bruise on his left knee after getting hit by a pitch. Rios said he's fine and should be able to play whenever that will occur. Rios does have six teams he can block a trade to: Arizona, Colorado, Houston, Kansas City, New York Yankees and Oakland. The Royals have shown interest but Rios said he won't comment if one of the blocked teams reaches out to his agent regarding a deal. The Rangers also have a $13.5 million club option on him and have expressed a desire to pick it up if necessary. There is also a $1 million buyout clause.

3. Colby Lewis. It's doubtful but the right-handed starter has pitched well in the second half of the season. In three second half starts, opponents are hitting just .235 against him.'s TR Sullivan tweeted he heard of one team that could be interested in a deal. Lewis' biggest issues were his elbow and hip, which are both doing fine by the way. He pitched well in getting the win over the Yankees on Wednesday night with a season-high seven innings. He signed a minor league deal and eventually made the club and built up his strength during the course of the season. He might be a nice pickup for a contender.

Rangers update: Rios is fine

July, 31, 2014
Jul 31
ARLINGTON, Texas -- A few leftover notes from Wednesday night:

Right fielder Alex Rios left Globe Life Park with a sleeve covering his left knee after he was hit by a pitch in the third inning of the Texas Rangers' 3-2 victory over the New York Yankees.

Rios departed the game before the fifth inning and afterward reported no issues with his leg.

Rios is the subject of trade rumors and might not be around with the Rangers once the non-waiver trade deadline passes at 3 p.m. CT Thursday. Rios said he's prepared for whatever happens but would like to remain with the club.

On the season, Rios is batting .304/.430/.335.

Holland to pitch again: Left-hander Derek Holland (knee) looked good in his first rehab start for Double-A Frisco on Wednesday night. Holland's next outing will be Monday at Triple-A Round Rock.

There is a doubleheader that day and it hasn't been determined which game Holland will pitch. Against Midland on Wednesday, Holland struck out four over two innings, with two walks in a 33-pitch effort. Holland threw 21 strikes and had one four-pitch walk.

It was Holland's first appearance in a game since Sept. 28, 2013, when he earned a victory over the Los Angeles Angels.

Base Hits: Right-hander Nick Tepesch said he threw on flat ground before Wednesday's game and is expected to throw a bullpen session Friday when the Rangers get to Cleveland. The objective is for Tepesch to pitch Wednesday at Chicago. ... After pitching a season-high seven innings in Wednesday's victory over the Yankees, right-hander Colby Lewis moved to 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA against the Yankees in four career starts in Arlington.

Leonys Martin progressing in center

July, 30, 2014
Jul 30
ARLINGTON, Texas -- While Texas Rangers starting right-hander Colby Lewis was standing in front of his locker talking about his bionic hip and a resurgence of his career, center fielder Leonys Martin was discussing his own rays of sunshine.

Wednesday night in the Rangers' 3-2 victory over the New York Yankees, Martin had no problems in center field. He didn't run into anybody. He didn't run next to a fellow outfielder camped out to make a catch.

[+] EnlargeLeonys Martin
Tim Heitman/USA TODAY SportsLeonys Martin is a work in progress in center field for the Rangers, but he showed some positive signs in Wednesday's win.
"I thought he handled himself extremely well," manager Ron Washington said of Martin. "Every time he went diagonally for a ball, I think the first thing he did was peek."

As simple as that sounds -- looking where you're going when running around a baseball field -- it appeared to be a problem for Martin.

Tuesday night was kind of the last straw in a series of mishaps or near crashes involving Martin and the corner outfielders. During a routine fly ball to right, Alex Rios called for it. Martin raced over and at the last minute, Rios looked over. The ball deflected off Rios' glove and hit Martin in the side of the head.

The majority of Washington's media briefing with reporters before Wednesday's game was spent discussing Martin's issues in the outfield.

"I'm not going to bash Martin, OK," Washington said. "It's about learning and that's all I want him to do is learn. Change something between him and his outfielders out there to make sure this stops, that's all. This is not about bashing Martin."

Washington wants Martin to play smarter in center field: Pay attention to your surroundings because as the captain of the outfield, Martin sets the tone and where people line up. Martin, more than anybody else, should know how to play certain balls hit to the outfield.

(Read full post)

Rapid Reaction: Rangers 3, Yankees 2

July, 30, 2014
Jul 30
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Something nice happened Wednesday night at Globe Life Park.

The Texas Rangers got their third sellout of the season -- thank New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter for that -- and the home team won a baseball game and took a series.

That doesn't happen too often.

Behind Colby Lewis' strong and efficient outing, the Rangers beat the Yankees 3-2 in front of 46,599. The Rangers finished the month with a record of 6-20 and won their first series since taking two of three from the Minnesota Twins on June 27-29.

This victory ended a string of seven consecutive series losses for the Rangers.

It doesn't push the Rangers into playoff contention, but it could enable them to have a much better August. Over the past two seasons, the Rangers are 39-17 in August.

How it happened? Brett Gardner homered to give the Yankees a 1-0 first-inning lead. Gardner had 13 total bases in the three-game series and hit four home runs.

The Rangers responded in their half of the first. Elvis Andrus ripped a double to left to score Shin-Soo Choo, and RBI singles from Adrian Beltre and Leonys Martin pushed the lead to 3-0.

Jacoby Ellsbury's solo shot to center in the third cut the deficit to one, but Lewis handled things after that. He retired 14 of 15 hitters before handing things over to the bullpen.

Colby's night: The veteran right-hander has been saying he's gaining strength in his surgically repaired hip and in his elbow of late. Lewis pitched wonderfully. He gave up only two runs and four hits in seven innings. Lewis struck out four and threw 106 pitches. It was Lewis' first victory since July 5 at the New York Mets. Of the Rangers' six victories this month, he has two. In the past three starts, Lewis has a 3.48 ERA over 18 1/3 innings, giving up seven runs and 16 hits with 11 strikeouts.

Trade winds blowing: Right fielder Alex Rios and left-handed reliever Neal Cotts might have played their last games for the Rangers because their names have come up in trade talks with numerous teams. Rios had only two at-bats Wednesday before leaving in the fifth because of a bruised left quad. Cotts relieved Lewis in the eighth and struck out Gardner to start a 1-2-3 inning.

Martin breaks out: Martin was in an 0-for-19 slide and allowed a ball to bounce off his head during Tuesday's loss. Over the past two games, Martin has three hits in his past eight at-bats with a triple, walk, stolen base, run scored and RBI. In the field, there were no issues. There were several fly balls to the corners, Martin took some baby steps and unlike some previous games didn't sprint over in an attempt to make a play.

Jeter's last appearance: Jeter went 0-for-4 in his final game in Texas. In the series, Jeter surpassed Carl Yastrzemski for seventh all-time in hits with 3,422. He went 5-for-13 in the three-game series. Before the game, Jeter received a check for $10,000 for his charitable foundation and some custom-made cowboy boots.

What's next?: The Rangers have a travel day and there could be some missing bodies on the nine-day trip. The non-waiver trading deadline is Thursday at 3 p.m. CT. When the Rangers get back to work, they begin a three-game set in Cleveland on Friday.

Rangers get rare series win, 3-2 over Yankees

July, 30, 2014
Jul 30

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Colby Lewis retired the last 13 batters he faced in seven strong innings and the Texas Rangers clinched their first series victory in a month, beating the New York Yankees 3-2 on Wednesday night.

Brett Gardner led off the game with a homer for the second straight night, after homering twice in the series-opening loss for New York.

The Rangers had lost seven consecutive series since taking two of three against Minnesota from June 27-29.

Texas went ahead to stay with three runs in the first off Hiroki Kuroda (7-7). Elvis Andrus had an RBI double and scored the tiebreaking run on a single by Adrian Beltre, who came home on Leonys Martin's single.

Lewis (7-8) allowed four hits, including solo homers to Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury. The right-hander struck out four and walked two, and New York didn't have another runner after Carlos Beltran's two-out single in the third..

(Read full post)

Rios leaves after getting hit in quad

July, 30, 2014
Jul 30
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers starting right fielder Alex Rios left Wednesday's game against the New York Yankees after getting hit on the left quad in the third inning.

Rios glared at Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda after he got hit but calmly went to first base.

Rios was later replaced in right field by Daniel Robertson.

Rios is the subject of trade rumors and could be dealt by Thursday's non-waiver trade deadline. The Rangers have a team option on him for 2015 and are open to bringing him back. But if there's an opportunity to acquire quality prospects, the club wouldn't hesitate dealing him.

"I would like to stay here," Rios said before Wednesday's game. "At the same time you have to understand what the situation is and a few other things. It's a business and you have to look at it as that. We do enjoy what we do as players."
ARLNGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers left-hander Derek Holland is moving closer to a return to the majors following microfracture surgery on his left knee after he pitched two innings for Double-A Frisco against Midland on Wednesday night.

Holland did not give up a run, struck out four and walked two in the 33-pitch outing.

It was Holland's first appearance in a game since Sept. 28, 2013 when he earned a victory over the Los Angeles Angles. Holland finished the 2013 season on a two-game win streak and had a 10-9 mark with a 3.42 ERA overall.

He was projected as the No. 2 starter behind Yu Darvish coming into the 2014 season. But Holland suffered a freak accident in his home when he tripped over his dog on the stairs, which caused the injury.

Holland has done numerous bullpen sessions after the surgery yet his inability to field his position smoothly has given the Rangers pause from putting him in a live game.

Holland, who will wear a knee brace, is hopeful for a return to the Rangers' rotation in the last two months of the season.

The next rehab appearance for Holland hasn't been determined.

Update: Holland, who said his knee felt "great" could pitch again on Monday. Frisco is off that day but Triple-A Round Rock has a double-header Monday.

"I think it was just trying to get out there and get into the swing of things," Holland said. "Very excited a lot of adrenalin flowing but the main thing is I want to execute my pitches. I felt like overall, a couple of bad walks but for the most part, I'm feeling really good about being out there."

ARLINGTON, Texas – Texas Rangers catcher Geovany Soto will begin a rehab assignment at Triple-A Round Rock on Friday.

Soto is on the 15-day disabled list with a right groin strain, suffered last week while running the bases against the New York Yankees.

“I think I needed it,” Soto said of the DL stint. “When I was hitting, I was getting better every day.”

Soto opened the season on the 60-day DL because of a torn meniscus in his right knee. He returned July 17 and played in three games and picked up four hits in 11 at-bats.

Soto, who will catch and DH while at Round Rock, is eligible to come off the DL Aug. 6.

More injury issues: LF Jake Smolinski said X-rays revealed he’s got a small fracture in his left foot. Smolinski suffered a bone bruise while fouling a pitch off his foot. Smolinski, on the 15-day DL, hasn’t started running and is hitting off a tee and doing soft toss. ... RHP Nick Tepesch, who was skipped a start because of inflammation in his knee, said he’s scheduled to throw on flat ground Wednesday. Tepesch will then have a bullpen session and is expected to pitch next week when the Rangers visit the White Sox.

Nadel praises Scully: The Dodgers announced that legendary play-by-play man Vin Scully will return for a 66th season in 2015. The announcement was made during Tuesday’s Dodgers-Braves game.

Eric Nadel, this year’s recipient of the Ford C. Frick award at the Baseball Hall of Fame, has been the voice of the Rangers for 20 years and part of the franchise telecasts for 36 years and is in awe of Scully.

“I can’t imagine doing it,” Nadel said of the 86-year old Scully's longevity in the booth. “But when I hear him, he can still do it. He’s still fantastic, and I make every effort to listen to him every time I can. He’s 86 years old and he sounds like he’s 40. He’s the god of this business. He’s the ideal of what we’re all striving to reach.”

Base hits: Tuesday night’s three hour and 51 minute contest was the Rangers' third-longest nine-inning game this season. The Rangers are tied for third in the big leagues with games 3:30 or longer with the Astros at 20. Tampa Bay leads the majors with 26, followed by Colorado with 23. … J.P. Arencibia leads the majors with 16 RBIs in the second half. Toronto’s Melky Cabrera is second with 14. Arencibia, who hit two home runs in Tuesday’s loss, has hit five of the Rangers' eight homers in the second half.
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Derek Jeter will make his final appearance in Texas as a professional baseball player Wednesday night.

Jeter has morphed into a beloved figure during his 19-year career with the New York Yankees, and there is one man who will take special notice of the pregame ceremony at Globe Life Park and how he handles himself: Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus.

[+] EnlargeDerek Jeter and Elvis Andrus
AP Photo/Ralph LauerRangers shortstop Elvis Andrus looks up to Derek Jeter for his professionalism on and off the field.
Andrus doesn't wear No. 2 like Colorado's Troy Tulowitzki does. He's not a kid from Jersey who gets wide-eyed just talking to Jeter like is the case for the Angels' Mike Trout.

Andrus is a 25-year old shortstop from Maracay, Venezuela, who idolized Jeter for his professionalism on and off the field. He tries Jeter's signature jump throw from short when the moment fits during games.

If Jeter is the symbol for what a baseball shortstop is supposed to look like, then Andrus wants to be that.

"I think he's a perfect role model for any player, the way he handles himself on the field, especially the way he handles himself away from the field," Andrus said. "He's never been in trouble, he knows how to handle media, especially playing in New York. I can only image how much pressure he has every single day. He's a guy as soon as he steps on the field you can see how professional he is and the thing is everybody on the field respects him, and that's something really hard to earn."

From an intimate space, Andrus learned more about the game playing beside the now-retired Michael Young and Omar Vizquel. Each told him about leadership in a clubhouse and becoming a positive influence on the field.

You see Andrus' attempts at this every night. Any pop fly that hangs over the shallow portions of left field turn into a sprint between Andrus and the left fielder.

Andrus believes he's responsible for handling that.

While he might defer to veteran third baseman Adrian Beltre on pop flies hovering near third, it is Andrus who has emerged as the future of this infield.

Yes, there are younger players waiting for their chance in this organization. Yu Darvish and Beltre are the leading men for this franchise.

But Andrus is trying to make this his team, and particularly turn into the captain of the infield and one day perhaps be the leader of his team like Jeter in New York.

"That's what you strive to be," manager Ron Washington said. "It's not numbers you're striving to be, it's the way you carry yourself. It's character. [Jeter's] personality, his attitude, his commitment to the [game]. Having him around, that makes people realize their goals. That's intangibles. Those are things you can't teach. You can't buy that anywhere. I don't care how much money you got."

Andrus remembers meeting Jeter for the first time at the 2010 All-Star Game. Andrus didn't want to sweat Jeter, so he tried to be smooth.

"I was OK, 'That's my idol, I don't want to push him, bother him,' but he was super cool," Andrus said. "He's a guy you could ask him whatever, and he's willing to help you. No matter who you are, whether you're a rookie or a veteran, he's going to treat you the same way. And that's what you learn from guys, and no matter how big of a baseball player he is, the way he handles himself is he stays humble all the time."

Jeter said he's fortunate and humbled by the pregame ceremonies and the chats he conducts with teammates and players of opposing teams. He knows there are young players trying to be like him.

"I got a chance to play against him," Jeter said of Andrus. "He's fun to watch and play against, and to watch him play, see him develop, see him improve and get to know him a little bit. Talk to him, and it's one of the things I enjoy doing, especially at All-Star Games. You get an opportunity to meet all sorts of personalities, and I've always enjoyed watching him play here in Texas."
ARLINGTON, Texas -- When the Rangers finish their three-game series with the New York Yankees it will be the last game played this month.

July has been a nightmare for the Rangers.

Coming into the series finale with the Yankees, the Rangers are 5-20 this month.

Last season, the Rangers were 11-15 in July and were outscored by their opponents, 121-101, but there was some good news. A 20-7 August pushed the Rangers in good shape heading into the pennant race before it all fell apart in September.

In 2012, a 9-14 finish was followed by a 19-10 mark in August.

So there could be some good news regarding the Rangers in the next month of the season. In the second half of 2014, the Rangers are 4-8, and despite Sunday's 9-3 defeat to the AL West leading Oakland Athletics, the Rangers have played a better brand of ball.

Elvis Andrus' stretch: The starting shortstop had three hits in Tuesday's loss to the Yankees and it was the seventh time this year he's had three hits in a game. He's extended his hitting streak to six games and is hitting .409 during this stretch. Andrus had a tough 0-12 slump last week and has played well in the last few games.

Martin ends a slump: Leonys Martin was in a 0-for-16 slump going into the Tuesday game before he ended his slump with a seventh inning triple. He added a single in the ninth.
"It was awesome to hit like that," Martin said. "You like to score more runs but I had five at bats. I kept within myself and I felt strong. I just wanted to keep fighting."

Colby Lewis gets the start: After recovering from his surgery, Lewis, who starts against the Yankees on Wednesday, said he's gaining strength on a regular basis. The veteran right-hander has allowed three runs or less in four of his last five starts. In that one start, Lewis gave up 13 runs, 11 earned in a loss to the Angels. And while Lewis said he's feeling better the numbers indicate he's still struggling in someways. He's 1-4 with a 6.75 ERA in his last six starts. At The Glove, Lewis is 1-5 with a 8.40 ERA in nine starts.

J.P. Arencibia's night mirrors season

July, 30, 2014
Jul 30
ARLINGTON, Texas -- J.P. Arencibia hit two home runs, including a grand slam, drove in seven runs and had four extra-base hits.

The Texas Rangers first baseman was all over the place in the 12-11 loss to the New York Yankees on Tuesday night.

Arencibia’s night summed up the Rangers' season pretty neatly.

“Not enough,” he said of describing his evening. “It was a good game, but I want to help the team win and unfortunately we were one run short tonight.”

[+] EnlargeRangers
Tim Heitman/USA TODAY SportsOutfielders Leonys Martin and Alex Rios had an embarrassing collision in the sixth inning that led to a Yankees run.
That’s basically what this 65-loss team is right now: short-handed at the plate, inexperienced in the field and on the mound.

The 25-year-old starter on Tuesday was Nick Martinez, who is still learning about the big leagues. He retired 13 of 14 hitters after a first-inning walk. He couldn’t finish the sixth inning.

Completing innings is something pitching coach Mike Maddux demands of his pitchers, both experienced and inexperienced.

Martinez, who lasted 5⅔ innings, couldn’t do it. It wasn’t totally his fault, but a few plays here and there might have helped him.

For instance, after Brett Gardner’s leadoff double in the top of the third, Derek Jeter hit a ball off Martinez’s glove that was fielded by Elvis Andrus at short. Andrus’ throw beat Jeter to the bag and he was ruled out. The Yankees challenged the play and it was overturned because Arencibia’s foot wasn’t on the bag.

If Prince Fielder or Mitch Moreland was playing first base -- more experienced than Arencibia, who was playing just his ninth career game at the position -- Jeter might have been out.

Injuries to Fielder and Moreland have forced the Rangers to play nine different first basemen this season. The inning kept going and had no ending until the Yankees scored seven times to take an 8-4 lead.

There was something else in the inning that raised more questions about the direction of the club. Right fielder Alex Rios committed an error as he let a ball hit off his glove despite calling for it. The ball then hit Leonys Martin in the head.

Manager Ron Washington said it cost his team only a run and not the ballgame.

For a good percentage of the season, we’ve seen outfielders almost crash into each other and infielders backing up into the lower portions of the outfield just steps away from playing bump-and-run with a corner outfielder.

Martin said he didn’t hear Rios call for the ball.

That happens too much for the Rangers in the outfield given the experience of Rios and left fielder Shin-Soo Choo.

Of course, Andrus has to make adjustments in dealing with Choo when he chases a fly ball in shallow left field. Choo is playing with a sore left ankle and Andrus feels the need to compensate for that by taking on more responsibilities covering fly balls.

The Rangers, as is the case with any team with 65 losses by late July, are a mess.

“We didn’t quit, we kept fighting,” Washington said of how his team played. “We could have very easily laid it down but we didn’t. We kept going. When you keep believing good things happen, and we were one swing away from winning the ballgame.”

Yeah, that one swing from Adrian Beltre, the Rangers’ best hitter.

The Rangers loaded the bases in the ninth against Yankees closer David Robertson and Beltre worked the count to 3-2. The final pitch of the night was a fly ball to left caught by Gardner, just three steps shy of the warning track.

“I jumped the fence, I thought it had a chance to get out,” Arencibia said.

“That’s as bad as you could suck and still get one of baseball’s best hitters out,” Robertson said. “I feel like the luckiest guy, as bad as I pitched.”

The Rangers, now 5-20 in July, wished they had some of the Yankees' luck.

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Brett Gardner had four hits to go with a tremendous sliding catch and the New York Yankees held on for a 12-11 victory at Texas on Tuesday night in spite of J.P. Arencibia's seven RBIs.

Gardner had a leadoff homer and two doubles, and he reached base twice in a seven-run sixth that put the Yankees ahead to stay.

He started the inning with a double and scored on Carlos Beltran's two run-single, then reached on a three-base error that deflected off two outfielders and sent home the rally's final run.

Arencibia homered twice and drove in seven runs for Texas, including a grand slam. He also had two doubles to be the first Rangers player with four extra-base hits since Josh Hamilton's four-homer game at Baltimore on May 8, 2012.

The last player with at least seven RBIs in a loss was Jonathan Lucroy in 2012, when Milwaukee fell to the Cubs, STATS said.

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Adrian Beltre
.323 15 58 57
HRA. Beltre 15
RBIA. Beltre 58
RA. Beltre 57
OPSA. Beltre .883
WY. Darvish 10
ERAY. Darvish 2.90
SOY. Darvish 167