Pregame Buzz: Lots of unearned runs
The Rangers have allowed unearned runs at a high rate. They lead the American League with 29 unearned runs this season. They have allowed 26 of those runs since May 1. Friday was the third straight game in which the Rangers gave up multiple unearned runs. It's the first time they've allowed two or more unearned runs in three straight games during the Washington era (last time was Sept. 6, 7 and 9, 2005).
"I don't think anybody can look out there at our team and say we don't play defense," Washington said. "It happens. We'll get it back together."
Washington said the fact that he has a squad full of players with a good track record of defense makes him certain that they are just in a lull and will work their way out of it.
"It would be different if guys had a record of poor defense," Washington said. "These guys don't."
* The trade deadline is still nearly two months away, but there's little doubt one thing manager Ron Washington would like to see his club go out and get: a veteran, right-handed bat for the bench.
"That's the best-case scenario," Washington said. "Maybe an everyday player whose role has been reduced, but has experience. It's not easy to find those guys and everybody wants them."
Much of the media's pregame session with Washington centered around the bench. He talked about his late-inning options and how he best tries to use them. It's not that Washington doesn't have right-handed bats. He does. But he doesn't have that big bat that can alter an late inning with one swing.
Brandon Snyder has worked hard to find his role, but is still learning. Alberto Gonzalez is the club's utility infielder and a right-handed bat, but he's hitting .267 in limited action. Craig Gentry, who starts against most left-handers, has speed, but not a ton of power.
Washington does not want to shorten his bullpen in order to try to carry another bat. And it's unclear who from the minors might come up if that were the case anyway.
* The pitchers are expected to take batting practice twice in Oakland in preparation for next weekend's visit to San Francisco.
* Robbie Ross joked that when he got to the majors, he never thought he'd be milking a cow on a baseball field. Ross lost a competition with Angels' Kole Calhoun, but said he enjoyed himself. He received a block of cheese for participating.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Reid Ryan joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss his new position with the Houston Astros and whether he could see his dad, Nolan, joining him there in the future.
Play Podcast ESPN MLB Insider Jayson Stark joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss if the Rangers are the best team in baseball, what makes them so good and if he thinks the team will trade Jurickson Profar.
Play Podcast Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss Ron Washington's decision to send Yu Darvish to the mound for the eighth inning Thursday night and how he would handle a situation like that if he were still a GM.
Play Podcast Randy Galloway, Matt Mosley and Glenn "Stretch" Smith discuss the latest Rangers news, including the Yu Darvish-Justin Verlander matchup.
Play Podcast Nelson Cruz joins Galloway & Company to discuss the Rangers' series in Oakland, his ups and downs at the plate and if the PED talks before the season were a distraction.
Play Podcast Rangers manager Ron Washington joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett live from Oakland for his weekly visit.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway & Company to discuss his role with the Rangers. Ryan says that he has not been in contact with the Astros about a possible opening and he doesn't think that he would be interested anyway.
Play Podcast Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett for his weekly visit and wastes no time sounding off on MLB umpire Angel Hernandez.