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Saturday, June 8, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Blue Jays 4, Rangers 3 (18)

By Todd Wills


The Texas Rangers tied a club record, playing 18 innings only to lose 4-3 to the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday afternoon at the Rogers Centre. The game lasted five hours and 28 minutes.

Jays finally end it: Ross Wolf was a tough-luck loser as Toronto scored a run in the bottom of the 18th, which was partially gift-wrapped by the Rangers. Emilio Bonifacio had a one-out single for the Blue Jays, then moved from first to third with two outs when Lance Berkman failed to catch a pickoff throw from Wolf. That set up Rajai Davis, who grounded a single inside the third-base bag for the 4-3 victory, to end the Rangers' misery.

Putrid offense: The Rangers offense is beyond being in a funk now. In a dismal performance, the Rangers were 1-for-19 with runners in scoring position and left 17 men on base. There was plenty of blame to go around. The bottom line is the Rangers have scored three runs or less in 12 of their past 17 games.

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10th-inning miss: The Rangers loaded the bases in the top of the 10th and didn't take the lead. Jeff Baker struck out for the first out. Leonys Martin hit a sharp line drive to left fielder Jose Bautista for the second out, who then threw out Berkman at the plate to keep the game tied.

Rally in the ninth: Pinch hitters Martin singled and David Murphy walked to put two runners on with one out. Pinch hitter A.J. Pierzynski followed with a bloop single to right field to score Martin to cut the lead to 3-2, also sending Murphy to third base. He scored the tying run on Elvis Andrus' sacrifice fly to center field.

Missed chance in eighth: Andrus and Jurickson Profar got on base to start the top of the eighth to put the tying runs on. The Rangers failed to get a clutch hit. Berkman flew out to deep center field, allowing Andrus to get to third. After a wild pitch moved Profar to second, Adrian Beltre struck out swinging, which cost the Rangers a shot at least cutting the lead to 3-2. Nelson Cruz then popped up in foul ground down the first base line on a 3-1 count to end the threat.

Darvish's one bad pitch: Yu Darvish couldn't get out Colby Rasmus, and a hanging breaking ball in the bottom of the third was the one pitch that got the Rangers beat on Saturday. Darvish left the slider out over the plate, and with two runners on, Rasmus ripped a triple to score two runs. Rasmus also came home on a throwing error by Profar on a ball that should have been blocked at third base by Leury Garcia, leaving the Rangers in a 3-0 hole.

Darvish's day: Darvish kept the Rangers in the game despite the third inning and having to pitch with baserunners all over the place in the early innings. He allowed five hits and had three walks in seven innings, allowing two earned runs to lower his season ERA to 2.75. Darvish threw 111 pitches, 73 for strikes.

Berkman's struggles continue: Berkman was 0-for-3 and left four runners on base after taking Friday's game off. Berkman has two hits in his past 23 at-bats.

Home run Baker: He did it again. Baker hit a solo home run in the seventh inning, finally waking up the sleeping Rangers offense. He slammed a 85 mph offering from Mark Buehrle into the second deck. Baker has seven home runs against left-handed pitchers, tops in the major leagues. He's been a great offseason acquisition for the Rangers.

Frasor improving: The Rangers are desperate for another right-hander who can be trusted in the bullpen, and Jason Frasor is slowly gaining manager Ron Washington's confidence. Frasor got two outs in the bottom of the ninth to get the game to extra innings. He did provide a scary moment when Blue Jays slugger Bautista hit a ball just in front of the warning track in left-center with the winning run on base with two outs in the bottom of the ninth.

Up next: The Rangers try to salvage a game in this three-game series when right-hander Alexi Ogando (4-2, 2.93 ERA) goes up against Blue Jays right-hander Josh Johnson (0-2, 5.40 ERA) at 12:07 p.m. on Fox Sports Southwest and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and 1540-AM.