ARLINGTON -- Getting runners thrown out on the basepaths can happen to anybody, especially a team like the Rangers, who take pride in being aggressive baserunners.
Manager Chris Woodward wants an aggressive baserunning team and he has full confidence in third-base coach Tony Beasley to make it happen during the course of a game.
“Beaz is one of the best, if not the best, third-base coaches in baseball,” Woodward said. “We have been aggressive all year and Beaz has been aggressive all year, and that’s the way I want it. I’ve always wanted it that way.”
But three guys thrown out on the bases in one inning? That takes some doing and the Rangers pulled off that unusual trifecta in the sixth inning of a 13-6 loss to the Twins on Thursday night at Globe Life Park. Willie Calhoun, Rougned Odor and Jose Trevino were the victims at a time when the Rangers’ offense was coming alive with home runs from Calhoun and Hunter Pence.
“A few baserunning mistakes cost us, but in the end it didn’t cost us the game,” Woodward said. “I think it’s great to put pressure on teams. Just knowing you are going to get thrown out once in a while is a byproduct of that. We have won a lot of games because of our baserunning.”
Beasley took full responsibility for the inning afterwards although he was probably to blame for just one of the three outs made.
“Whenever the mistakes like that happen, I’m the one that is accountable, no matter what the player does,” Beasley said. “I can either be in a better position or make a better decision. That whole inning ... not my proudest moment. Probably my least favorite inning as a third-base coach in nine years up here. Got to shake that off, learn from it, and never let it happen again.”
This game was really decided when Rangers starter Pedro Payano allowed eight runs (five earned) in 3 1/3 innings. He was optioned to Triple-A Nashville after the game, and a corresponding move will be made on Friday.
The Rangers trailed, 11-0, in the bottom of the fifth, but Calhoun’s home run started a three-run rally, and it was 12-4 after Pence homered to start the sixth off reliever Devin Smeltzer. That’s when the curtain opened on the cavalcade of baserunning outs.
Calhoun reached on an infield single and Odor crushed a drive to deep right-center that hit off the top of the wall and caromed directly to center fielder Max Kepler. Calhoun tried to score from first, but he was cut down on a nicely executed relay from Kepler to shortstop Jorge Polanco to catcher Jason Castro.
“I was going hard right off the bat,” Calhoun said. “But the ball bounced right to [Kepler] and he made a good throw.”
That was out No. 1.
“That was a really bad send,” Beasley said. “There is no reason for me to send Willie being down eight, no out. I broke my own rule of thumb, never let a guy get thrown out with no outs. You don't even want a play at the plate. Just a really bad decision on my part. I totally blew that.”
Odor went to third on the play and the Twins had the infield back with an eight-run lead and Logan Forsythe at the plate. But Forsythe hit a sharp grounder at third baseman Miguel Sano and Odor had taken a big lead off the bag. Odor had no choice but to go home, and he was thrown out easily with Forsythe reaching first.
“Odor wasn’t going on contact,” Beasley said. “But just where the ball was hit, he couldn’t beat Sano back to third base. That was just one of those weird plays based on where the ball was hit.”
That was out No. 2.
Jose Trevino then singled to left, moving Forsythe to second, and Delino DeShields followed with another long drive, this one down the left-field line. Again it hit hard off the wall and caromed directly to left fielder Eddie Rosario.
Forsythe scored easily, but Trevino was running hard with his head down and rounded too far off third base before he picked up Beasley’s stop sign. Trevino tried to scramble back, but the throw from Rosario to Sano came in behind him and he was tagged out.
That was out No. 3.
"I’m not going to sit here and critique anything like that,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “I’m glad that our guys were heads up and got the ball in and hit the cutoff man, and executed those types of plays and rundowns and things like that. I think that’s on our end, it was a good positive from that inning. Those were some unusual kind of plays and our guys were definitely in a spot to make them in a heads up fashion.”