Rangers try to press on despite injuries


ARLINGTON, Texas -- Manager Ron Washington is fond of saying that the schedule doesn't stop so injured teams can recover. It doesn't play favorites or do anyone any favors.

So on a day when the club announced that first baseman Mitch Moreland will undergo ankle surgery that will keep him out three months and Rougned Odor sprained a shoulder that has him listed as day-to-day but getting evaluated further on Monday, the manager wasn't in a mood to give up.

"You have to work as usual and come in and prepare to play a ballgame," Washington said after Sunday's 3-2 loss to the Cleveland Indians. "That's all you can do. They're quite aware of what we've lost around here, but it gives other players an opportunity to step up. We're doing that.

"I don't want to seem like I don't care, but we've got [99] ballgames to play. I've got to focus on the games that we're playing right now with the personnel I have right now. I do believe this personnel, if we can get consistent, can win us some ballgames. So we'll just keep preparing and keep going out there and battling. We played a very competitive game today and they beat us."

Of course, without so many regulars, converting run-scoring opportunities becomes even more critical. The Rangers weren't able to do that in a close game on Sunday. Alex Rios' triple in the sixth inning scored Adrian Beltre to make it a one-run game. Rios stood at third base with one out representing the tying run, but he never got any farther than that. Chris Gimenez grounded out to first with the infield in and Leonys Martin grounded out to second to end the inning.

"You need to pick them up all the time, whether you're hurting or not," Washington said. "You want the execution to happen. It just didn't happen."

In the fourth, the Rangers had the bases loaded with one out and scored only one run -- on a wild pitch. Limiting the damage gave the Indians' offense time to respond in the next two innings to take the lead.

Mistakes are also magnified with a depleted lineup. Martin, who has shown stretches of brilliant play but also questionable decisions at times, made an errant throw to first after Ryan Raburn's RBI single in the sixth. It was his second consecutive game with an error, and it allowed Lonnie Chisenhall to go to third. He scored on David Murphy's sacrifice fly.

The loss drops the Rangers back below .500 with Moreland set to make the 19th DL stint of the season for Texas. Rios, like the rest of the Rangers, is trying to focus on moving forward.

"It is tough, but the only thing you can do is to keep going," Rios said. "There's no other way to see it. If you quit, it's going to be a long season. We'll keep playing hard. We just have to keep going."