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Going away from best pitch costs Bush

Rangers closer has impressive fastball, but gives up 2 runs on secondary pitches
MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

ARLINGTON -- Rangers closer Matt Bush's best pitch is his fastball. He averages 97.8 mph with it -- eighth-hardest among pitchers with at least 200 thrown -- and uses it about 72 percent of the time.

But he steered away from the fastball in the ninth inning on Monday night, and it cost him in a 7-6 loss to the Blue Jays at Globe Life Park.

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ARLINGTON -- Rangers closer Matt Bush's best pitch is his fastball. He averages 97.8 mph with it -- eighth-hardest among pitchers with at least 200 thrown -- and uses it about 72 percent of the time.

But he steered away from the fastball in the ninth inning on Monday night, and it cost him in a 7-6 loss to the Blue Jays at Globe Life Park.

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"I feel like I didn't attack guys enough," Bush said. "I can't lose confidence in my fastball. I feel like I missed with some sliders and getting beat on my second-best pitch."

Bush was asked to protect a 6-5 lead and nail down his ninth save. Instead he gave up two runs for his third blown save. Including the postseason, the Rangers have lost 17 of their past 25 games against the Blue Jays over three seasons.

"I don't think that we look at it as a what club it's against or anything like that," Texas manager Jeff Banister said. "Anytime you lose a game like that, they're challenging. However, again, I'll repeat, rewind and repeat about what I say about this team, where they're able to bounce back and move on."

Bush started the inning with a fastball and Ryan Goins smacked it into left-center for a double. That seemed to impact Bush's pitch selection. He threw 15 pitches to the next four hitters, 13 of which were secondary pitches.

"It's not that I don't trust the pitch," Bush said. "I just want to keep them off-balance and keep guys off of my fastball and that's why I used my slider."

When those four hitters were done, the Rangers were behind. Kevin Pillar lined out to second baseman Rougned Odor but Josh Donaldson tied the game with a single to left. Donaldson stole second, Jose Bautista walked and Kendrys Morales put the Blue Jays ahead with a single to left.

Justin Smoak walked to load the bases, but Bush got out of the jam by getting Troy Tulowitzki to pop out and striking out Russell Martin. Both outs were retired on the fastball.

"After he gave up the leadoff double on the fastball, he got away from I think what his best pitch is, and that's the fastball," Banister said. "Two walks, one was on a slider, the other a curveball, and the rest of the damage was done on his secondary stuff."

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.

Texas Rangers, Matt Bush