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Jurado's tough start has Texas mulling options

August 28, 2018

ARLINGTON -- Rookie right-hander Ariel Jurado's seventh start for the Rangers ended up being his shortest so far.Jurado couldn't get out of a third-inning jam and ended up taking the loss as the Rangers fell to the Dodgers, 8-4, on Tuesday night at Globe Life Park. The Rangers have lost

ARLINGTON -- Rookie right-hander Ariel Jurado's seventh start for the Rangers ended up being his shortest so far.
Jurado couldn't get out of a third-inning jam and ended up taking the loss as the Rangers fell to the Dodgers, 8-4, on Tuesday night at Globe Life Park. The Rangers have lost five of their last seven games.
Jurado looked good through two scoreless innings, but walked Enrique Hernandez to open the third. He struck out Chris Taylor, but three straight singles by Joc Pederson, Justin Turner and Manny Machado gave the Dodgers a 2-0 lead. After Player Page for Max Muncy flied out, James Dozier's single scored another run.
"I feel I lost it in the third inning," Jurado said. "I tried to make adjustments, but it was tough to do with everything that was happening. I lost my mechanics and started falling behind and had to throw it in the middle of the zone."
Jurado's night came to an end after he walked Yasmani Grandal. At that point, he had thrown 61 pitches, including 35 in the third inning, and the Rangers didn't want to push him any further.
"Looked liked when he got into the stretch position with runners on base, looked like the sinker flattened out, slider stayed in the zone, out of the zone," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "Looked like they're trying to be a little quicker to the plate, aware of the baserunners, looked like that quickness kind of flattened some things out there in that inning."

The Rangers don't know when Jurado's next start will be. Their rotation is unsettled beyond Friday night when Andrew Hutchison pitches against the Twins. One question is if the Rangers will activate Bartolo Colon off the disabled list when he is eligible on Saturday.
The bigger question is whom the Rangers want to look at in September as they continue their auditions for next season. It's a varied group waiting in line.
"Well, how those decisions will be arrived at is that we've got the entire organization," Banister said. "Front office, scouts and development staff, and Major League staff that have been talking about all of that process, so that's how we'll get to those decisions, based on who we have personnel-wise, and we'll have some decisions to make, yes."
Left-hander Yohander Mendez is the most obvious candidate. The Rangers planned on giving him a good look earlier this summer until he was demoted to Class A Advanced Down East on June 19 after violating team rules in Kansas City. He has worked his way back up to Triple-A Round Rock, although he left Tuesday's start against Memphis after two innings when he was hit in the upper part of his left arm by a line drive. The injury is not expected to hold him back.
Jurado was called up from Double-A Frisco and the Rangers have two more intriguing candidates there in right-hander Jonathan Hernandez and left-hander Taylor Hearn. Hernandez, the Rangers' No. 6 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, is 4-4 with a 4.92 ERA in 12 starts, including 2-0 with a 1.14 ERA in four outings in August.
Hearn, acquired from the Pirates in a trade for reliever Keone Kela, is 1-2 with a 4.95 ERA in four starts. He has allowed 24 hits in 20 innings, but also struck out 25 and walked six.
Reliever Eddie Butler, acquired in the trade with Chicago for Cole Hamels, could be a candidate, considering he has made 39 career starts with the Rockies and Cubs. He went farther than Jurado did on Monday, throwing 68 pitches over 4 1/3 innings although he allowed five runs, four earned, on eight hits.

Veteran right-hander Chris Tillman, who was signed on Aug. 2 after being let go by the Orioles, has been discussed, but a strained groin muscle has limited him to three starts and a 12.60 ERA at Round Rock. 
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Dodgers leadoff hitters reached base six times in nine innings, including a home run by Dozier leading off the fifth. Rangers pitchers have allowed 52 home runs leading off an inning this season, the most in the American League.

BELTRE TIES GWNN
Adrian Beltre singled to lead off the ninth for the 3,141st hit of his career. That ties Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn for 18th all-time. Just ahead is Robin Yount, who is 17th with 3,142 hits.

SOUND SMART
Beltre's hit marked the first time on the night that the Rangers had the leadoff batter on base in an inning. Rangers hitters, going into the game, were batting .236 leading off an inning, the second-lowest average in the American League.
HE SAID IT
"That is the initials of the scout who signed me, Buzzy Keller. More for his family. He passed away yesterday. A tremendous human being. He's the guy that signed me in a Wendy's in Baytown, Texas, and gave me a thousand dollars and said 'I'm not going to make you rich, but I'm going give you an opportunity to play this game.' He was a huge part of why I sit in this seat and why I am the person I am." -- Banister, on why he had B.K. written on his cap during Tuesday's game
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
The Dodgers had runners on first and second with no outs in the sixth inning when the Rangers turned a sharp double play on Dozier's grounder to third baseman Jurickson Profar. Dozier was called safe at first base, but the Rangers challenged the call and it was overturned by replay.

UP NEXT
Left-hander Mike Minor is riding a four-game winning streak as he pitches against the Dodgers at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday at Globe Life Park. Minor is 6-2 with a 3.23 ERA in his last 12 starts. He is 1-2 with a 2.56 ERA in six starts and one relief appearance against the Dodgers in his career. Left-hander Alex Wood pitches for the Dodgers.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.