ARLINGTON, Texas -- Relief pitching remains an issue for the Rangers.
For the second straight day, a manageable late-inning deficit turned unmanageable after Ron Washington went to his bullpen.
In Monday’s 7-2 loss to Oakland, C.J. Wilson left in the eighth inning with two runners on base and the Rangers trailing, 3-1.
Minutes after Ryan Tucker took over, both inherited runners had scored along with two more insurance runs. Tucker faced four batters without getting an out. He walked two and gave up a two-run single and a run-scoring double.
“We’ve got to figure our a way to get outs late in the game,’’ Washington said. “It is something we need to correct. Things happen with free passes.’’
Rangers pitchers issued eight walks (five by Wilson) and hit a batter. Oakland parlayed those into five runs.
“The score looks like a blowout,’’ said Washington, “but is was really a close game.’’