Saturday, September 21, 2013
Extra Bases: Garza looks for turnaround
By Todd Wills
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Rangers will have to play from behind now.
At least for one day.
An 18-inning victory for the Tampa Bay Rays over the Baltimore Orioles early Saturday morning left the Rangers on the outside looking in for a wild -card spot for the first since late July.
The Cleveland Indians also passed the Rangers with a rain-shortened victory over the Houston Astros. The Rangers trail the Indians by a half-game for the second wild-card spot, and they're a full game behind Tampa Bay.
Texas is 4-14 in September to fall out of the division lead and now the wild-card lead.
The Rangers will turn to Matt Garza to even their record on this road trip to 3-3. Garza has allowed 14 earned runs in 15⅓ innings in September.
Garza has a reputation as a big-game pitcher. "He still may live up to that rep," manager Ron Washington said Friday.
Garza will have to improve the location of all of his pitches. He's allowed four earned runs or more in seven of his past nine starts.
"He's throwing a lot of pitches down the middle of the plate up in the zone," Washington said. "It's going to take him to just go out there and have some success to find out what he has to do. He can. He's done it before."