Lack of execution hurts Rangers
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."
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.
Play Podcast Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.