ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers were plagued by missed opportunities, particularly on the bases, as they failed to complete a four-game sweep of the Oakland A's with a 3-1 loss Sunday night.
The Rangers were caught stealing twice early in the game, but what were scored as failed steal attempts were actually the result of Oakland starter Travis Blackley's ninja-like pickoff move.
Elvis Andrus and Yorvit Torrealba were picked off between first and second base without even trying to steal. Andrus' came after his single in the first inning and Torrealba's after his leadoff single in the third. Both runners had just taken fairly average leads when they were picked off before they knew what had happened.
"He really got me there," Andrus said. "As soon as I saw his body go toward home plate, that’s when I started shuffling my steps. It was a tough pickoff."
Torrealba was frank when asked if he thought Blackley had a deceptive pickoff move.
"Obviously," He said. "The funny thing, I was asking Elvis what kind of move he had and a couple innings later he got me at first, too. Honestly it looked like he actually balked, but I watched the replay and it was just a good move. You've got to give credit to the guy."
Andrus was caught in between first and second again when he tried to stretch an RBI single, ending the third inning.
One reporter asked Ron Washington if he thought the Rangers had been sloppy on the base paths.
"Do you think we were sloppy?" Washington said.
"I'm asking you," the reporter said.
"Well, I'm asking you back," Washington responded.
"Uncharacteristic?" the reporter asked.
"No, it wasn't. That's the end of that question," Washington said.
Andrus said they would correct their mistakes before they see Blackley again.
"It was the second time we faced him and first time I was on base, so we’ll figure it out for the next time we face him," Andrus said. "He was pretty good."