Rangers 'grinding,' but want winning results
Allard settles in after bumpy first, but bats silenced by Bassitt
With a win on Thursday, the Rangers would have done something they hadn’t done in over a month -- win a series.
The last time Texas won a series was at home against Houston on May 23. But after first-inning struggles from left-handed starter Kolby Allard and the inability to get things going offensively, the Rangers dropped the series finale, 5-1, to the A’s at Globe Life Field.
Thursday afternoon's loss leaves the Rangers’ series sweep of the Astros on May 21-23 as their last series win.
“I think every day everyone's showing up grinding,” said Allard, who gave up four runs over six innings in his start. “I think it's just little things throughout a game that helps you win games, and I think we're all just going out there trying to battle, myself included. I've got to be a little better, and I think once we all kind of do that as a club, we should be good moving forward.”
Allard rebounds from early struggles
The Rangers lefty came in with some recent success since moving into the starting rotation. Allard came into the game with a 2.70 ERA across his first four starts since his first start of the year against the Mariners on May 27.
He was knocked around a bit in the first inning of the series finale vs. Oakland, giving up three runs, two on RBI hits from Ramón Laureano and Jed Lowrie, and throwing 31 pitches before making it out of the first frame. Allard settled down following the first inning, limiting Oakland to one run on four hits and no walks in the final five frames of his six-inning outing.
“For him to go six showed a lot of growth there,” manager Chris Woodward said. “I know in the past he's had trouble kind of stopping the bleeding, and we had to get him out of the game. So, for today to have a rough first inning, and then you go back and pitch really well the last five innings -- he didn't have his best stuff, I would say, [or] his best command, but he fought through it.”
The outing was the second time in Allard’s five starts this year that he has gone six innings, and his 97 pitches are his most in an outing since he threw 99 pitches in a start on Aug. 30, 2019, against the Mariners.
Rangers struggle to figure out Bassitt
Despite Allard settling in after the first frame, Texas’ bats were unable to find consistent offense against Oakland starter Chris Bassitt. Aside from the second-inning run pushed across by Nick Solak’s groundout, the Rangers scratched out just five hits against Bassitt.
Jose Trevino, Willie Calhoun and Eli White combined for six of the Rangers’ seven hits. As a whole, the club went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base.
“We talked with our hitting guys a lot about guys like [Bassitt],” Woodward said. “We want to be able to go up and attack them. Late in the game, we didn't, and he was throwing a lot of balls right down the middle. So I think we got caught in between from the beginning to the end.”
Defensive miscues an issue
Just as finding consistent offense was a problem against the A’s on Thursday, the defense has also been shaky during Texas' current homestand.
The Rangers split the four-game series with Oakland and were swept in three games against the Twins last weekend, committing six errors in that span. They have also given up five runs during that stretch on throwing errors, wild pitches and bases-loaded walks.
“The errors and the defense, obviously, we address every day,” Woodward said. “We talk about it. … These are things that we discuss with our guys constantly. So we definitely have to clean it up if we want to win more games.”