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Defensive miscue in 11th costs Rangers

Two throwing errors allow Rays to take lead; Lynn allows one run over seven innings
@Sullivan_Ranger
September 11, 2019

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers played solid baseball for 10 innings against the Rays on Tuesday night in a game that had serious implications for the American League Wild Card race. Then they blew it up with two errors on one ugly defensive play in the bottom of the 11th inning.

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers played solid baseball for 10 innings against the Rays on Tuesday night in a game that had serious implications for the American League Wild Card race. Then they blew it up with two errors on one ugly defensive play in the bottom of the 11th inning.

That sudden meltdown cost the Rangers, as the Rays scored two runs in the 11th to complete a 5-3 victory at Globe Life Park. The Rangers had a 3-1 lead after seven innings with a chance to get back to the .500 mark on the season and let it get away.

Box score

“We did nothing at the end to win the game,” manager Chris Woodward said. “That’s what’s frustrating to me, really frustrating loss. We had the lead, we gave it away, so what. Just little things we obviously didn’t execute at the plate, on the field. It’s unfortunate, because we put ourselves in good position to win that game.”

The late-inning issues cost Rangers starter Lance Lynn a chance at his first win since Aug. 2. He allowed one run over seven innings and left with a 3-1 lead, but Austin Meadows’ two-run home run off reliever Rafael Montero in the eighth tied the game.

“Montero’s been so good for us, he deserves a break,” Woodward said. “He’s been one of the best pitchers we’ve had all year. Obviously, it is what it is. One of their best hitters took him deep.”

Lynn is now 0-4 with a 3.76 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP in his last seven starts. The Rangers have lost all seven while scoring a total of 12 runs when Lynn was in the game.

“That’s part of it,” Lynn said. “There have been times this year where I got wins early on and I was giving up a lot of runs and we were scoring a lot of runs. That’s baseball. For me, it’s not making pitches when I need to at times. That’s been frustrating, but that’s part of it, too.”

Rangers reliever Emmanuel Clase took the loss after setting down the side in order in the 10th, striking out two. Clase started the 11th by giving up a single to Matt Duffy. After Nate Lowe grounded into a forceout and Ji-Man Choi struck out, Willy Adames beat out an infield single to keep Tampa Bay’s rally alive.

That’s when chaos took over.

Kean Wong followed with a slow roller down the first-base line. Clase got to it, fumbled the ball and then his throw trickled past first baseman Danny Santana for an error. Second baseman Rougned Odor was backing up the play, but saw Adames round the bag too far at second and fired it down to shortstop Elvis Andrus.

“After I got the ball, I looked to the runner at third and I heard Elvis yelling at me,” Odor said. “When I looked at him, the runner was like five steps to the bag. That’s why I threw the ball. I think we had a good shot. As soon as I throw the ball, the ball it was going up like a sinker. I should have thrown better.”

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His throw ended up in left field, and Lowe scored the go-ahead run. Guillermo Heredia singled to left in the next at-bat, bringing home Adames to give the Rays a 5-3 lead.

“Unfortunately, the throw was a little wild, but I thought it was going to be a close play if I got it,” Andrus said. “It ended up being the [winning] run for them, but that's the thing: being aggressive. If you're aggressive defensively, you're going to take opportunities. We'll learn from that one and move on.”

The Rangers only had five hits on the night. All their runs came in the fourth inning against Rays starter Ryan Yarborough. Willie Calhoun had an RBI double, and Nick Solak hit a two-run home run.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.