Rangers stung by early error vs. D-backs

July 29th, 2020

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers had another tough night offensively and were unable to overcome a critical first-inning throwing error.

That throw by third baseman led to three unearned runs against starter , and the Rangers went down in a 4-1 loss to the D-backs on Tuesday night at Globe Life Field.

The Rangers have now dropped three straight after a 1-0 win on Opening Day and they have managed just six runs in the four games. The Rangers were no-hit for 6 1/3 innings by D-backs starter Merrill Kelly before hit his first home run.

The Rangers, who managed just three hits off Kelly and relievers Andrew Chafin and Archie Bradley, are hitting .156/.243/.262 to start the season. This is the second time in four games they were no-hit through five innings. It happened through 5 1/3 innings against Rockies pitcher Germán Márquez on Friday night.

“Our hitting is going to come around,” manager Chris Woodward said. “Some teams are getting off to a really hot start with the bat and some aren’t. Unfortunately, we are not. We need to get better. But at the same time, it’s not time to push the panic button by any means. We need to relax and have quality at-bats. Right now, I can feel trying to do too much at times, trying to take too many pitches, do the right thing rather than getting a good pitch and taking a rip at it.”

Gibson started the first-inning trouble by issuing a two-out walk to Starling Marte. Eduardo Escobar then lined a single to center and Marte headed for third. Center fielder tried to get him, but his throw was off-target and Escobar went to second.

Christian Walker followed with a one-hopper right at Kiner-Fafela, who was back in the lineup after missing two games because of a tight hamstring. His throw to first baseman was low and to the right of the base. Frazier reached for it, but couldn’t make the catch.

The ball rolled behind him and two runs scored.

“The throw was definitely catchable,” Woodward said. “Probably needs to be caught. I know it was up the line a little bit. Obviously, that play needs to be made on both sides. Izzy needs to make a better throw and Frazier needs to handle it.”

Walker went to second on the play, then came home on David Peralta’s single to center.

“Mistakes are a part of the game,” Gibson said. “It’s just one of those plays that didn’t get made. It’s not a big deal. For me, I’m more disappointed that I gave up that extra hit and the extra run in that situation. I try to pride myself on being able to get out of that inning and pick them up. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do that.”

Because of their offense, the Rangers are at the point where every mistake gets magnified. Woodward switched up his lineup around on Tuesday but it wasn’t much help. Santana, moved from third to second in the order, was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. He is 1-for-17 with eight strikeouts after four games.

“I mean, obviously, we need to see some results,” Woodward said. “We'll talk to him, we'll sit him down tomorrow and kind of see what's going on. His at-bats weren't great today, and I think he'll be the first to tell you that. Just need more production, obviously. We can't go without Danny, we need Danny to be productive for us.”

Santana is hardly the only one who is struggling, as the Rangers’ top six hitters -- , Santana, Odor, , Frazier and -- were a combined 1-for-21 with 11 strikeouts on the night.

“I don’t know if any team has locked up a playoff spot and I don’t know if any team has lost a playoff spot,” Gibson said. “You have to keep it in perspective as much as possible. We feel with our starting pitching, we have a chance to be in every game. I think we’ll be just fine. I don’t think it will be something where we panic.”