Barnette laments leadoff walk in 9th inning

Righty's free pass comes around to score on passed ball in walk-off loss

June 30th, 2016

NEW YORK -- The highlight programs will show the Yankees' winning run coming across on catcher Robinson Chirinos' passed ball. Rangers reliever Tony Barnette was far more irritated with the walk that began the ninth inning and led to Texas' 2-1 loss on Thursday afternoon.

"Absolutely," Barnette said. "That's unacceptable. You can't have that. More often than not, they are going to come around to score."

Chase Headley did, and the Rangers suffered their second consecutive walk-off defeat, coming off Wednesday's 9-7 loss in the bottom of the ninth. The Rangers have also lost consecutive games for the first time since losing three straight to the Athletics from May 16-18.

"Obviously a tough one to lose," third baseman Adrian Beltre said before the Rangers headed to Minnesota to begin a three-game series with the Twins on Friday.

"Obviously these guys are trying to win every game," manager Jeff Banister said. "To win the first two games ... the game last night is the one that stings the most. But our guys continue to battle. We're still in good shape. We'll go to Minnesota and regroup. We're going to be OK."

This is the first time the Rangers have lost a walk-off game on a passed ball since June 16, 1986. That was the night that Charlie Hough took a no-hitter into the ninth inning against the Angels, only to lose first the no-hitter and then the game when Wally Joyner scored from second base on catcher Orlando Mercado's passed ball.

This one was a standoff going into the ninth, first with Yankees starter Michael Pineda against A.J. Griffin for the Rangers, and then a battle of the bullpens. The only runs were a home run by Shin-Soo Choo in the first and another by Didi Gregorius in the fifth.

That's where it stood when Barnette went to the mound in the ninth and walked Headley on five pitches. Gregorius bunted him to second and Aaron Hicks drew another walk.

"The walks, especially the leadoff walk in the last inning, you can't do that," Banister said. "You can't do that, especially on the road."

Starlin Castro followed with a slow bouncer to first baseman Mitch Moreland, who had to take the out at first while the runners moved up. That put Headley 90 feet away with the left-handed-hitting Jacoby Ellsbury at the plate.

Barnette threw a 1-1 cut fastball down and away, and it got past Chirinos, allowing Headley to score.

"I mean, you guys saw it," Chirinos said. "My fault. I called the pitch. I know which way the pitch is going to go. It's my fault not catching it."

Barnette said that's not necessarily the case.

"It was a cutter and I missed the spot," Barnette said. "It's a tough pitch to catch when you miss a spot. Robby had worked hard for nine innings. I pulled a cutter too far and the end result was a tough loss.

"It's a tough pill to swallow. See the team battle, for me not to perform, it's a bad feeling."