Rangers force extras, but lack big hit in Miami
Texas capitalizes on sloppy Fish 'D,' but strands 12, falls on walk-off
MIAMI -- Rangers outfielder Alex Rios was scratched from Tuesday night's starting lineup with a bruised right thumb.
Rios was replaced by Jim Adduci, who entered the game hitting .176. Adduci was hitting in the fifth spot. Mike Carp was hitting in the third spot, bringing a .193 average into the game.
When it was over, the Rangers went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position, left 12 men on base and ended up losing, 4-3, in 10 innings. On a night when Carp was going 0-for-5, Marlins No. 3 hitter Giancarlo Stanton brought the game to an end with a two-out RBI single to right off reliever Neftali Feliz.
Neal Cotts took the loss, but the run was unearned because of an error by Carp that put the winning run on base.
"I thought we were going to get one tonight, but we let it get away," Rangers manager Ron Washington said.
There are many reasons the Rangers have the worst record in baseball. But every once in a while they get a vivid reminder of one of the biggest reasons their season went south long ago.
They were really counting on a healthy Prince Fielder in the middle of the lineup. They haven't had him for three months, and that's why the Rangers found themselves in the once unfathomable position of not having an overwhelming advantage in offensive firepower when going up against a National League team.
"I was hoping we could put it away with one big hit," Washington said. "We've got to get better at driving in runs. We put ourselves in position, but we just didn't get it done."
Texas' runs scored on a fielder's choice, an error and a bases-loaded walk. The Rangers tried to win it with small ball and might have pulled it off if Daniel Robertson had been able to drop down a squeeze bunt in the ninth.
Elvis Andrus led off the inning with a single to right against Marlins reliever Steve Cishek. Carp popped out before Adrian Beltre hit a sharp grounder right at second baseman Donovan Solano, who misplayed it for an error. Instead of an inning-ending double play, the Rangers ended up with runners at the corners.
With Robertson at the plate, Texas tried a squeeze. But the pitch was too far outside, Robertson couldn't get his bat on it and Andrus was tagged out in a rundown. Robertson walked, but Leonys Martin struck out to end the inning.
"I got to get that down," Robertson said. "I've got to do anything I can to get the bunt down. Instead I froze."
That helped send the game into extra innings with Cotts on the mound to start the 10th. Jeff Baker, who played with the Rangers last season but was not re-signed as a free agent, started the Marlins' one-out rally with a grounder to Beltre, but the Rangers third baseman's throw to first was on the inside of the bag. Carp came off the base, caught the ball but then had it knocked out of his glove as he went to tag Baker, with the first baseman charged with the error.
Cotts then retired Christian Yelich on a line drive to shortstop for the second out, but Solano reached on an infield single. Washington then brought in Feliz to face Stanton.
Washington had already called for four intentional walks in the game, the first time a Rangers manager had done that since 1991. But he wanted Feliz to pitch to Stanton. Feliz got ahead 1-2 in the count before Stanton lined a single to right to end the game.
"I felt like he could get him," Washington said. "Make a pitch but don't make a mistake. If we walk him, walk him. He tried to go away off the plate and Stanton reached out and punched it."
Rangers starter Miles Mikolas went five-plus innings and allowed three runs on eight hits, a walk and six strikeouts.
"He did a good job but I'd like to see him go deeper in the game," Washington said. "He really had a good breaking ball and life on his fastball. He just got his pitch count up."
Marlins starter Jarred Cosart gave his team six innings and allowed just one run on six hits with two walks and two strikeouts. He left with a 3-1 lead, but the Rangers rallied against the Marlins' bullpen in the top of the seventh.
Rougned Odor led off the inning against reliever A.J. Ramos with a double off the right-field wall. Stanton misplayed the carom, fumbled the ball when he finally got his glove on it and then stumbled trying to retrieve it. As he did, Odor came around to score.
"I don't know if I've ever seen a play quite like that," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "I'm not really sure how to describe that. ... But yeah, just looked like he couldn't get it in his glove and get rid of it. One of those freaky plays."
Ramos then walked pinch-hitter J.P. Arencibia and gave up a single to Shin-Soo Choo. Andrus bunted the runners to second and third. Ramos struck out Carp and walked Beltre intentionally to load the bases. Redmond then brought in left-hander Mike Dunn to face Adduci, but Washington responded by sending up Robertson, who ended up drawing a walk to force in the tying run.