Monday, May 27, 2013
Rapid Reaction 2: D-backs 5, Rangers 4
By Ron Matejko
Special to ESPNDallas.com
PHOENIX -- The Texas Rangers (32-20) were swept in a day-night doubleheader after suffering a walk-off 5-4 loss to the National League West-leading Arizona Diamondbacks (30-22) on Monday night at Chase Field.
What this means: Texas is on a season-high three-game losing streak and was swept in a twin bill for the first time in its past 14 doubleheaders.
Tough loss: Robbie Ross has been nails this season, allowing just one run in 23 1/3 innings. He entered the game with one out in the bottom of the ninth, and intentionally walked pinch hitter Martin Prado to put runners on first and second and set up the potential inning-ending double play. The next batter was Cliff Pennington, who followed with a sharp line-drive single down the right-field line that scored Miguel Montero, who had led off the inning with a double. Montero reached off losing pitcher Jason Frasor, who struck out A.J. Pollock before giving way to Ross.
Ogando throws bullpen: Injured Rangers starter Alexi Ogando threw a 57-pitch bullpen session Monday in Arizona and reported no problems. Ogando has been on the 15-day disabled list since May 16 with right biceps tendinitis. He is eligible to come off the DL on May 31.
First-inning blues: Despite his amazing start to the season, Yu Darvish has stumbled out of the gate of late. After Arizona scored two runs in the first inning Monday night, Darvish has now allowed 11 of his 23 runs in the opening frame. He entered the game with an 8.10 ERA in the first inning and a 1.91 ERA in all other innings.
Knee-buckling slider: How nasty is Darvish's slider? Ask Arizona right fielder Gerardo Parra, who was corkscrewed while swinging at a third strike during his third-inning at-bat. Parra, who is hitting .308 this season, was fooled so badly, he tweaked his left leg and walked from the batter's box with a slight limp. He left the game with a left calf cramp.
A.J. OK: Rangers catcher A.J. Pierzynski had his best offensive game since coming off the disabled list Tuesday, going 2-for-3 with two RBIs, a pair of singles and a sac fly. His lone out was a long fly ball that was caught in the deepest part of Chase Field, in front of the 413 mark in right-center field.
First things first: Lance Berkman played first base in the second game of the doubleheader, marking the first time he has played the field in a regular-season game since Sept. 5, 2012, when he was with the St. Louis Cardinals. Berkman played two games at first base during spring training.
What's next? Texas is off Tuesday, then will open a five-game homestand Wednesday, beginning with a quick two-game series against Arizona. RHP Justin Grimm (4-3, 4.05 ERA) will start for the Rangers at 7:05 p.m. CT Wednesday. RHP Brandon McCarthy (2-3, 4.36) will take the hill for the Diamondbacks.