It doesn't work that way, even if Diekman had been terrific coming out of the bullpen for over a month and perhaps deserved a mulligan. But in Tuesday night's 3-2 loss to the Padres, he had his clunker for the month of June.
Diekman, trying to protect a two-run lead, allowed three runs in the eighth as the Padres rallied to even the series at Globe Life Park. Rangers starter Austin Bibens-Dirkx was in line for the win after throwing five scoreless innings, and Alex Claudio and Jesse Chavez each pitched a scoreless inning to leave the eighth for Diekman.
"We all know the type of pitcher Diek is," Bibens-Dirkx said. "It's one of those things, baseball is a game of failure and those things happen a lot. It's a 162-game season, you're going to have those type of games. We know next time it's probably not going to be like that. The bullpen has been unbelievable and for me personally, I feel very comfortable giving the ball off to the bullpen."
Shin-Soo Choo was able to get a two-out single in the ninth to extend his on-base streak to 39 straight games, the fourth longest in club history. It is the second longest in the Majors this season.
"Dirkx pitched his butt off," Diekman said. "Everyone before me did their job. My job is to get it done and I didn't do that. That stings really hard. I just didn't make pitches when I had to, can't walk the first hitter and can't hang sliders."
Diekman is still building a resume that is potentially attractive to clubs looking to reinforce their bullpen before the non-waiver Trade Deadline on July 31. He entered the game having allowed just one run over 10 1/3 innings in his past 11 games. This was only the third time in 34 outings overall he allowed multiple runs. The others were on April 9 and May 22.
Diekman, who was pitching for the first time since Wednesday in Kansas City, walked Travis Jankowski to lead off the eighth. Manuel Margot fouled out in a 13-pitch at-bat, but Eric Hosmer singled to left-center, moving Jankowski to third. Wil Myers followed with a double to drive home one run.
Padres manager Andy Green then sent up right-handed hitter Christian Villanueva to hit for Cory Spangenberg, a left-handed hitter. Rangers manager Jeff Banister could have brought in right-hander Jose Leclerc. But right-handers were hitting .174 off Diekman coming into the game and Banister stayed with him.
"If I go get Diek there and bring in Leclerc, we're still playing," Banister said. "However that's on me. I have great confidence in Diek and the way he has thrown the baseball for us. I felt comfortable with him that inning. That's still a good matchup for us in that situation. He has been so effective for us in those situations."
Villanueva hit a tying sacrifice fly and Hunter Renfroe followed with a go-ahead double. Leclerc had to come in and finish the inning.
"The innings seemed to set up for all the guys coming in," Banister said. "It was a situation where we were willing to turn it over to a guy who had been extremely effective for us. Really, the inning set up well for him. There are times when it doesn't happen."
Rougned Odor and Robinson Chirinos gave the Rangers an early 2-0 lead with homers off Padres starter Tyson Ross. Chirinos hit his in the fourth and nearly hit another in the eighth off reliever Kirby Yates. Chirinos hit one deep down the left-field line, but the ball sailed just to the left of the foul pole.
MOMENT THAT MATTERED Choo kept his streak alive with a two-out single in the ninth off Padres reliever Brad Hand and Elvis Andrus followed with a single to left. That put two on with two out, but Hand retired Nomar Mazara on a pop to center to end the game and earn his 22nd save.
SOUND SMART Chirinos was hit by a pitch for the 11th time this season. He is the second Rangers player to be hit that many times before the All-Star break. The other was Choo in 2014.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS Banister said before the game that Odor is trending in the right direction offensively and the power would soon follow. It did on Tuesday night as Odor put the Rangers ahead with a leadoff home run in the second. Odor has two homers in his past six games after just one in his first 45.
UP NEXT Rangers left-hander Mike Minor will start the series finale against the Padres at 7:05 p.m. CT on Wednesday at Globe Life Park. Minor is 2-1 with a 4.20 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP in his past five starts. He is the only Rangers pitcher who has made at least five starts and has a winning record. He made one relief appearance against the Padres last season while with the Royals, but he will be making his first start against them since 2014. Minor is 3-2 with a 3.94 ERA in eight starts at home. Lefty Clayton Richard will start for San Diego.