Rare lapses from Tolleson, Beltre lead to 'L'
ARLINGTON -- Shawn Tolleson had never done this over two seasons and 121 relief appearances with the Rangers. He had never unintentionally walked two batters in a game.
Tolleson wasn't really sure why it happened on Tuesday night, but happen it did in the ninth inning, leading to two runs and a blown save in the Rangers' 6-5 loss to the Blue Jays.
"I was just missing up and away a lot," Tolleson said after just his second blown save of the season. "I was rushing a little bit, and I'm not sure why. I never have issues slowing down. Usually I don't get ahead of myself, but I was just missing tonight. ... I don't know why."
Equally baffling was third baseman Adrian Beltre making an errant throw to first base that allowed the go-ahead run to score in the ninth. The Blue Jays had runners at the corners with two outs when Beltre fielded Josh Donaldson's grounder. If his throw is accurate, the inning is over, and the score is tied. But first baseman Mitch Moreland had to stretch to the outfield side, and his foot came off the bag.
"I knew I had time and I tried to throw it nice and easy, and I just yanked it," Beltre said. "I wasn't rushing or anything, I just pulled the ball. He was out easy, and I had a good target. I didn't have time to grab it like I wanted to, but I had time to get the out.
"We had a chance to win this game today, and I [messed] it up."
But there were other factors. Starter Derek Holland pitched well overall but gave up three home runs in six innings of work. The Rangers' offense scored five runs in six innings off Blue Jays starter Mark Buehrle but also left five runners on base in the seventh and eighth when they had a chance to break open the game.
Yet they still had a one-run lead when Tolleson took over in the ninth. Tolleson entered the game 25-for-26 in save opportunities, with the only blown save coming on July 11, against the Padres. In his previous 18 games, he had a 0.98 ERA, held opponents to a .141 batting average and had walked four in 18 1/3 innings. Two of those walks were intentional.
But he walked Russell Martin to start the inning. Kevin Pillar grounded out to shortstop, moving pinch-runner Ezequiel Carrera to second, then Tolleson walked Ben Revere.
"It just seemed like he wasn't able to hit that outside corner that he has been so proficient at," manager Jeff Banister said. "The Martin at-bat. ... Some [pitches] looked close. It was very uncharacteristic of Tolleson to have two walks in an inning."
Tolleson has been getting treatment for a sore right foot over the past week but said that was not an issue.
"It's just sore a little bit," Tolleson said.
Tolleson retired Cliff Pennington on a fly to center before throwing three straight balls to Troy Tulowitzki. Tolleson came back to get two strikes, then Tulowitzki fisted an inside fastball into left field for a game-tying single.
"I was trying to freeze him on an inside fastball," Tolleson said. "I got the pitch where I wanted it, and he got his hands out there."
Revere, running on the pitch, went to third on the play, and that put him into position to score on Beltre's error.
"I trust every ball hit to Adrian," Banister said. "It was uncharacteristic of Adrian. I didn't see anything except [that] he pulled the throw."