Rapid Reaction: Tigers 5, Rangers 4

August, 3, 2011
8/03/11
8:52
PM CT
DETROIT -- It was another frustrating loss for the Rangers, who didn't do enough with some offensive chances, couldn't do the little things early in the game and couldn't overcome some struggles from Matt Harrison. Some quick reactions (more to come from the clubhouse shortly):

* The Rangers have now lost nine of their last 14 games and in the process will have to wait and see what the Angels do before they'll know if they will remain alone in first in the AL West.

* After manager Ron Washington talked about a lack of execution on the fundamentals with the media before the game, the Rangers went out and struggled with those fundamentals early. The first batter for the Tigers in the bottom of the first hit a grounder to shortstop Elvis Andrus for what should have been a routine play. But he threw the ball high for his 21st error of the season, five more than last year and one error behind his 2009 total (his rookie season).

* The Rangers started the second with consecutive singles from Michael Young and Nelson Cruz. Young alertly ran to third on Cruz's single up the middle to put runners on the corners with no outs. But not unlike Tuesday's game, the Rangers just couldn't get the job done. Mitch Moreland wasn't able to hit a ball on the ground or into the outfield to score Young, instead popping up to second. Mike Napoli then hit into a double play to end the inning.

* Matt Harrison fell behind too many hitters and seemed to be pitching with runners on base most of the night. It was not the Harrison the Rangers have seen the past dozen starts. He couldn't find consistent command and left way too many pitches up. The Tigers have a good hitting team and they don't miss many mistakes.

* Harrison did show some grit in the fourth. Despite some serious struggles, he somehow managed to get out of a major jam and earn a shutdown inning. He gave up a double and infield single to start the inning and the Tigers got the runners to second and third with one out. Harrison then struck out Wilson Betemit on a nice curve ball and, after walking Jackson to load the bases, got the dangerous Brennan Boesch with the bases loaded.

* Harrison was one out away from an unlikely quality start when he allowed a solo homer to Alex Avila to make it 4-3 Tigers. Avila is 10-for-25 with three homers against the Rangers this season.

* Ian Kinsler is really struggling. He was 0-for-4 and is now 1-for-30 in his last seven games. After his last out, a fly ball to left field on a pitch he just missed barreling, Kinsler grabbed his bat tightly as he ran to first, clearly frustrated.

* Cruz showed his arm strength in the second. He bobbled a ball as he charged to get to Ryan Raburn's single to right, but then threw a laser to third base to get Victor Martinez easily.

* Austin Jackson got a bunt single when Harrison and catcher Yorvit Torrealba appeared to think the other was going to get it. Jackson has great speed and it seemed unlikely they'd have gotten him anyway. Jackson later scored on a two-out double to left field.

* With Josh Hamilton at second base with no outs in the third, Young wasn't able to advance him to third. Young hit the first pitch he got to short, forcing Hamilton to retreat back to the base. It was just another example of the little things the Rangers aren't doing at times these days. But Cruz made sure Hamilton got home when he hit a rocket off the wall in right. An error by third baseman Betemit on Napoli's ground ball to the left side scored an additional run.

* The Rangers benefitted from a bad defensive play by the Tigers in the fifth to tie the score. Hamilton hit what appeared to be a double-play ball, but Andrus made a nice slide into second that may have impacted Jhonny Peralta's throw to first, which was wide. Torrealba scored to tie it.

* Hamilton makes tracking balls down in spacious center field look easy. He ran down a long ball hit by Boesch in the first, racing out to it with ease. He never looks panicked out there.

* Both of the new Rangers bullpen additions have now allowed home runs on consecutive nights -- at large Comerica Park no less. On Wednesday, it was Koji Uehara who surrendered a solo shot (his seventh HR allowed) to Ryan Raburn, who is 10-for-22 against the Rangers this season. He was batting .219 coming into the game.

* For the second straight game, Napoli hit a late home run. This was a solo shot to left field with one out and no one on in the ninth off Detroit closer Jose Valverde. He has a hit in seven straight games and is 14-for-29 in that span.
Richard Durrett joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He writes about colleges, the Dallas Stars and the Texas Rangers. Richard spent nine years at The Dallas Morning News covering the Rangers, Stars, colleges, motorsports and high schools.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Yu Darvish
WINS ERA SO IP
9 2.92 159 126
OTHER LEADERS
BAA. Beltre .325
HRA. Beltre 14
RBIA. Beltre 54
RE. Andrus 53
OPSA. Beltre .881
ERAY. Darvish 2.92
SOY. Darvish 159