Rangers miss opportunities with RISP
Despite homers by Rua, Martin, Rangers go 0-for-7 in potential scoring situations
CHICAGO -- The extra-base hits turned up in the Rangers' offense on Sunday afternoon after going missing for three games. The Rangers even had home runs from Ryan Rua and Leonys Martin, along with three doubles.
But what was missing was a clutch hit with runners in scoring position. The Rangers were 0-for-7 in those situations, and that ended up costing them in a 3-2 loss to the White Sox.
"You [have] to cash in on those opportunities," manager Jeff Banister said. "You give a ballclub a chance to stick around, and it can come back to get you."
The Rangers had three situations where they had a runner on third and fewer than two outs. Two of those came in extra innings. They were unable to deliver in all three situations.
"We had a lot of opportunities and didn't cash them in," first baseman Mitch Moreland said. "Me included. We went out there and fought as hard as we could. It was just a hard-fought game on both sides. They got the big hit, and we didn't."
The Rangers, leading 1-0, had runners on second and third in the fifth after Hanser Alberto reached on an error and Shin-Soo Choo doubled. Rua followed with a grounder to short, and Alberto was thrown out by shortstop Alexei Ramirez at the plate. After Prince Fielder was walked intentionally, Moreland hit a little pop that third baseman Conor Gillaspie ran down in left field.
After the game went into extra innings, the Rangers had a chance to go ahead in the 10th after Rougned Odor, pinch-hitting for Rua, singled with one out off of reliever Zach Putnam. With Fielder at the plate, Putnam threw a wild pitch, and Odor raced to third on the play.
Fielder was walked intentionally, and Putnam got Moreland to ground one at second baseman Carlos Sanchez for an inning-ending double play.
"He throws almost every pitch a split-finger," Moreland said. "I was trying to get a pitch up. He has such downward movement, and I got around it a little too much. I would have liked to have gotten it in the air."
The Rangers' last chance was in the 11th. Adam Rosales led off with a double against right-hander Jake Petricka, Joey Gallo was intentionally walked and Robinson Chirinos bunted the runners to second and third. Martin was intentionally walked to load the bases for Alberto.
Banister had Elvis Andrus on the bench to pinch-hit but decided to stay with Alberto.
"I felt Alberto has been swinging the bat well against right-handers," Banister said. "He has been pretty good so far."
Alberto entered the game hitting .317 off right-handed pitchers. But this time, he hit a chopper at substitute third baseman Gordon Beckham, who threw home to start an inning-ending double play.