Lack of execution hurts Rangers

July, 28, 2012
7/28/12
12:14
AM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers battled throughout, but a lack of execution ultimately sealed their fate as the Chicago White Sox took the first game of the three-game series 9-5 on Friday night.

Early on, it looked as though it was going to be the Rangers' night as they scored four runs in the first, including the first run of the game that was scored with perfect small ball execution. Ian Kinsler was hit by a pitch and stole second, and Elvis Andrus moved him to third with a ground ball to the right side. Josh Hamilton drove him in with a sacrifice fly.

It was exactly what the Texas offense has been lacking. It could've been a turning point.

Instead, it was just the opposite.

Texas had multiple mishaps in the field and at the plate that put the Rangers in some tough spots. Those mistakes also gave Yu Darvish his first loss in the U.S. or in Japan when having at least four runs of support. Going into Friday's game, Darvish was 59-0 in 63 starts when getting that kind of run support.

"It was one of those games that wasn't as clean as we would like it to be," Michael Young said. "We'll come back tomorrow and make some adjustments."

The Rangers failed to execute at various points in the game, such as:

* Nelson Cruz highlighted the Texas four-run first inning, but that lead was short-lived. Darvish turned around and gave up a two-run home run to Kevin Youkilis. The right-handed rookie had Youkilis in a 0-2 count with two outs when giving up the blast.

"Giving up the home run was a very big part of the game," Darvish said through translator Joe Furukawa. "It was a big unfortunate part of the game."

* In the fourth inning, White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham hit a ball into left-center that should've been a single. However, Josh Hamilton looked as though he didn't expect Beckham to try for second and fielded the ball lackadaisically, allowing Beckham to slide safely into second base. The next batter hit a single that scored both the runner on third and Beckham.

* The Rangers had an opportunity to score in the fifth when Craig Gentry and Kinsler reached base with a hit by pitch and walk, respectively, to lead off the inning. Andrus was unable to get a bunt down and dug himself in a two-strike hole. The Rangers shortstop was squared around to bunt again with two strikes, but he took a called third strike. Hamilton and Adrian Beltre also struck out to end the threat.

* When Alexi Ogando entered the game with one out in the seventh inning, he did not pay attention to Adam Dunn, who was standing on first, and Dunn made him pay. Dunn stole second -- his second stolen base of the season -- and advanced to third on a throwing error by catcher Yorvit Torrealba. Dunn later scored the sixth and winning run of the game.

* With a runner on first and two outs, Alex Rios doubled to left field. David Murphy overthrew Andrus, who was unable to make a relay throw to the plate to try to get the runner out at home. Andrus was charged with an error on the play because he dropped the throw, but a better throw from Murphy would've resulted in a play at the plate.

With all the miscues aside, the Rangers had plenty of opportunities to win the game, but they didn't.

"I wouldn't call it sloppy, manager Ron Washington said. "But we didn't execute like we need to."

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Yu Darvish
WINS ERA SO IP
10 3.06 182 144
OTHER LEADERS
BAA. Beltre .323
HRA. Beltre 17
RBIA. Beltre 69
RA. Beltre 68
OPSA. Beltre .874
ERAY. Darvish 3.06
SOY. Darvish 182