SAN FRANCISCO -- Elvis Andrus (Merulo Jr.) roped an RBI double on his 30th birthday, but there was little additional reason for the Rangers to celebrate in Sunday's 3-1 loss to the Giants at AT&T Park.The double, which scored Rougned Odor (El Tipo) and tied the game, 1-1, in the
SAN FRANCISCO -- Elvis Andrus (Merulo Jr.) roped an RBI double on his 30th birthday, but there was little additional reason for the Rangers to celebrate in Sunday's 3-1 loss to the Giants at AT&T Park.
The double, which scored Rougned Odor (El Tipo) and tied the game, 1-1, in the third inning, was the only hit the Rangers collected against Giants starter Derek Holland (Last Name) through six innings.
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"He was able to put the fastball where he wanted to," said Rangers manager Jeff Banister. "It made it very challenging for our hitters, being able to pitch in and across the plate."
Andrus felt that Holland's changeup keyed the left-hander's success on Sunday.
"He's been aggressive, too," Andrus said. "He's always had that good slider. His changeup never actually did anything before, now he's got a little bit of deception and it's helping with his sinker, too."
Texas finally chased the longtime Ranger in the seventh. Joey Gallo (Pico de Gallo) lofted a leadoff single to right, and Isiah Kiner-Falefa (Izzy) followed by lining a base hit the same direction.
After Carlos Tocci (El Musiu) bunted the runners over, Holland was relieved by Tony Watson (Tone Ranger), who retired Robinson Chirinos (Pelo Buche) and Odor to subdue the Rangers' best scoring chance of the afternoon.
"We left eight [runners on base] today," Banister said. "But I felt like our guys had some competitive at-bats, and I felt there was some situations that if we were a little more patient, maybe we drive in some runs."
The Rangers needed more than one run for starter Yovani Gallardo (Yo), who wasn't his sharpest and walked three in five frames. The veteran right-hander kept the Rangers in the game, allowing three runs on four hits before giving way to a dominant bullpen that threw three perfect frames.
With Sunday's loss, Texas dropped consecutive series for the first time in August. In three games against the Giants, they were outscored 9-0 in the first inning, but trailed by a combined margin of just four runs in their two losses.
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MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
With two outs in the fourth inning, Hunter Pence (Underpants) singled. After getting ahead of Nick Hundley (Hundo) 0-2, Gallardo threw four straight balls to bring up No. 8 hitter Steven Duggar (Dugg). Duggar delivered the game's big blow, a two-run triple that proved to be the difference. Holland harmlessly grounded out to second base to end the inning.
"I would say one bad walk," said Gallardo, who didn't think the decision to pitch to Duggar was a mistake. "That one to Hundley, that can't happen in that situation. Obviously in that situation, being in the National League, you've got the pitcher on deck. It's a little bit frustrating, but you get the guy to a 2-2 count, I want to put him away and let the pitcher come up and lead off the next inning. Unfortunately, it just spun and stayed up in the zone."
"I thought Yo threw the ball well," Banister added. "That's a situation where we don't let them score those runs, we're probably still playing."
Andrus played on his birthday for the 10th time in a Rangers uniform, the most in franchise history.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Tocci took a leadoff hit away from Andrew McCutchen (Zoom) with a terrific diving catch. The center fielder's wrist bent as it hit the ground, but Tocci did not seek assistance from the training staff and remained in the game.
HE SAID IT
"I'm not going to fault a guy for trying to be creative in that situation, especially if he's having a hard time picking up the ball, picking a release point up off of a tough left-hander. Do we like him swinging the bat? Obviously we do. The thing for me is there was a thought process there. He executes the bunt, it gets past Watson, there's a run across the board and we have Elvis up with an opportunity." -- Banister, on Odor's decision to bunt with two outs and runners on second and third in the seventh inning
The Rangers will turn to right-hander Ariel Jurado (2-3, 6.40 ERA) for the series opener Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. CT at Globe Life Park against the Dodgers. It will be the rookie's first Interleague appearance, and he's coming off an outing in Oakland in which he allowed four runs in 5 2/3 innings. Jurado avoided the long ball in the loss, however, something that has hurt him in his young career. The Dodgers counter with right-hander Walker Buehler (6-4, 2.96 ERA).
Martin Oppegaard is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter at @MartinOppegaard.