Rangers' offense still isn't getting big hit

October, 3, 2012
10/03/12
1:28
AM CT
OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Texas Rangers had a few chances Tuesday to grab some early runs and momentum in their quest to clinch an AL West title that remains elusive.

But as has been the case too often the last few weeks -- and in longer stretches during 2012 -- the club was not able to take advantage of those opportunities.

The second inning of Tuesday's 3-1 loss to Oakland was the best illustration. Adrian Beltre led off with a double off the wall in left-center and stood at second base in a scoreless game. But Nelson Cruz's ground out to the left side of the infield couldn't move Beltre to third. And after Michael Young got an infield hit to put runners at the corners with one out, Mike Napoli hit a ball hard enough to score him, except that it was right at third baseman Josh Donaldson. The line-drive out kept the runners where they were and when Geovany Soto watched a curve ball catch just enough of the plate for a third strike, the Rangers' threat was over.

"We got him to third and didn't get him in," manager Ron Washington said. "We could only get one run."

That came in the third off a Josh Hamilton double. But after that, the club got some runners on and then quickly ended chances with rally-killing double plays. Cruz got on via an error to lead off the fourth, but Young followed with a double play. Elvis Andrus walked to start the sixth and Hamilton hit into a double play. In the seventh, with one on and one out, Napoli grounded into a double play to end the inning.

The Rangers were 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position, continuing an alarming trend of not getting that hit in key situations. It means that with one game left in the season, the Rangers must win to earn the AL West title.

"It would be nice to get some early runs," outfielder David Murphy said. "These guys are playing well. They've earned it. We're a talented group of guys. We haven't played up to our standards lately. If we can get the offense going a little bit early, that would definitely help. It should be a lot of fun."
Richard Durrett joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He writes about colleges, the Dallas Stars and the Texas Rangers. Richard spent nine years at The Dallas Morning News covering the Rangers, Stars, colleges, motorsports and high schools.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?

103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS

Fitzsimmons and Durrett: Jon Daniels

Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.

Galloway & Company: Nolan Ryan

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.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Jim Bowden

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.

Fitzsimmons and Durrett: Chuck Cooperstein

Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.

Galloway & Company: Elvis Andrus

Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.

Galloway & Company: Nolan Ryan

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.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Ron Washington

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.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Fire Wash?

Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.

TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Martin Perez
WINS ERA SO IP
3 1.86 20 29
OTHER LEADERS
BAA. Rios .333
HRP. Fielder 2
RBIA. Rios 10
RE. Andrus 11
OPSS. Choo .895
ERAY. Darvish 0.82
SOY. Darvish 23