ARLINGTON -- Rangers infielder Jurickson Profar summed up the postgame mood in the home clubhouse Wednesday night. Their thoughts were not on a 7-2 loss to the Angels -- their fourth in a row -- but the news that they are likely going to be without shortstop Elvis Andrus because
ARLINGTON -- Rangers infielder Jurickson Profar summed up the postgame mood in the home clubhouse Wednesday night. Their thoughts were not on a 7-2 loss to the Angels -- their fourth in a row -- but the news that they are likely going to be without shortstop Elvis Andrus because of a fracture in his right elbow.
"I feel so terrible for Elvis that I can't even talk about it," Profar said.
The Rangers are ready for their first day off after this loss dropped them to 4-10 on the season.
"As challenging as things have been I feel that there is a group of guys in that clubhouse that will find a way to rally," manager Jeff Banister said. "Good day for an off-day, reset and recalibrate, reassess where we are at, count some heads and find a way to put things together. I know we will."
The Rangers could use Thursday's off-day to write a new script. This one is getting old and painful, even without the injury to Andrus. But it was been that way for three straight nights against the Angels.
In fact, it has been a recurring theme for much of the Rangers' 14-game stretch to open the season. The starting pitching puts them in an early hole and the offense can't generate enough firepower to overcome it.
The main twist in this one is the Rangers were facing rookie right-hander Jaime Barria in his Major League debut. That didn't change the ending.
The Rangers had just five hits on the night. Ryan Rua produced their first run with a home run in the third and they didn't get a hit with runners in scoring position until Profar singled home a run in the ninth. The Rangers were 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position, marking the eighth game they have had one or no hits in that situation. They have lost all eight games.
Rangers starter Matt Moore retired the side in order in the first, marking the first time in four games the Rangers weren't trailing before coming to bat for the first time. But the Angels struck in the second on four straight two-out singles by Kole Calhoun, Jefry Marte, Shohei Ohtani and Rene Rivera to take a 2-0 lead.
"There was some pretty weak contact to be able to set some of that stuff up," Moore said. "You just kind of have to stay with the plan and keep executing pitches."
Moore allowed three runs in five innings, a step up after losing his first two starts with an 11.05 ERA. But the Rangers are still falling behind early and not able to recover. They are 0-9 when the opposing team scores first and have been outscored a combined 42-18 in the first four innings.
"Over the course of the season you are going to have bumps in the road," Moore said. "Hopefully we are hitting the washboard right up front. Maybe it's an opportunity for us to step up and do something we are not supposed to do."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Ohtani delivers vs. lefty: Ohtani, getting the start at designated hitter with the left-hander on the mound, delivered his first hit against a lefty. Ohtani, batting with two on and two out in the second, grounded a single into left field to drive home the Angels' first run. Ohtani was 0-for-4 against left-handers coming into the game.
Upton catch stops threat: The Rangers, trailing 5-1, had a threat going in the eighth when Nomar Mazara came to the plate with two on and one out against reliever Keynan Middleton. Mazara hit a sinking flare to left field and Justin Upton raced in to make a sliding catch just off the ground. Middleton then struck out Joey Gallo to end the threat.
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Rangers reliever Chris Martin didn't get to pitch to Ohtani, his teammate the past two years in Japan. So he did the next best thing. He picked him off. Twice. Ohtani walked to lead off the eighth against left-hander Jake Diekman before Martin came in to pitch. With one out and Zack Cozart at the plate, Martin picked off Ohtani at first. The Angels challenged the call and it was overturned after the replay review. Ohtani stayed at first and Cozart went back to hitting. Only Martin fired over to first base and again picked off Ohtani. This time the Angels did not challenge the call.
Left-hander Cole Hamels opens up a three-game series against the Astros at 7:10 p.m. CT on Friday at Minute Maid Park. Hamels is 7-5 with a 4.22 ERA in 17 career starts against the Astros after taking the loss on Opening Day, when he allowed three runs in 5 2/3 innings. Friday's game is MLB.TV's Free Game of the Day.
Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.
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.