SEATTLE -- Simply put, the Rangers didn’t execute during their 1-0 loss to Seattle on Saturday night, and Texas manager Ron Washington certainly made that clear in his postgame comments.
The skipper mentioned “execute” exactly ten times in four minutes following Texas’ second-straight loss and talked about how his club failed to do so at Safeco Field.
While Seattle starter Blake Beavan offered few chances for the Rangers to score, there were enough opportunities that a playoff-caliber team like Texas would be expected to capitalize on.
In the fourth inning, David Murphy lined a two-out double into the right-field corner. Nelson Cruz appeared to slow after passing second base, but third-base coach Dave Anderson quickly whipped his arm around to send Cruz home.
The problem was that Mariners cutoff man Kyle Seager already had the ball before Cruz was halfway to home plate. The Rangers' right fielder isn’t exactly Usain Bolt and was out by a mile.
“David tried to make (the Mariners) make a play, and they made the play,” Washington said.
Then, with Texas down just 1-0 in the eighth, the Rangers had runners at first and second with nobody out. But Ian Kinsler failed to get a sacrifice bunt down and ended up striking out.
“It’s simple. He didn’t get it down,” Washington said. “When you go try and bunt, every now and then things don’t work in your favor and it didn’t work in his favor tonight.”
Elvis Andrus flew out to center and Michael Young followed with a strikeout to leave both runners stranded and another opportunity on the table. This Rangers squad has made a name for itself as a team that thrives off timely offense, but that hasn’t been the case in this series.
“We’re usually a pretty good at getting two-out hits, but it didn’t happen today,” said Young, who extended his hitting streak to 11 games. “Something we feel that is a big strength of our offensive game is that we’re versatile enough to do the little things when called upon, and tonight we didn’t do it.”
The Rangers lost two in a row for the first time since dropping three straight to New York last month. The 34-game streak without back-to-back losses was the longest in team history.
On a night of missed opportunities, perhaps the biggest one was yet another chance widen the American League West lead. Oakland lost again in New York earlier Saturday, so Texas’ lead remains at four games. The third-place Angels beat the White Sox and pulled within 6 1/2 games of the Rangers.
With October right around the corner and the Rangers scoring just four runs in the past two tilts against the last-place team in the division, Washington was asked if his club is pressing at all.
“Pressing? No, we aren’t pressing,” Washington said. “When you face good pitching like the Mariners got, it just comes down to what I said earlier -- execution.”