Rangers designated hitter Shin-Soo Choo sprained his right wrist in the fourth inning and had to leave Monday's 8-4 loss to the Mariners at T-Mobile Park.
The injury to Choo made a bad road trip worse, as the Rangers lost their sixth straight game after opening the trip with a victory over the Astros at Minute Maid Park. Texas is now 4-17 on the road this season going into a seven-game homestand against the Angels and Athletics.
Choo injured his wrist sliding into home plate on Joey Gallo’s two-run double. Choo was trying to get around catcher Luis Torrens' tag, and he was reaching for home plate with his left hand when he jammed the right hand into the ground. X-rays came back negative.
“Fortunately, they didn’t find a break, which I was a little worried about,” manager Chris Woodward said. “We’ll see how he comes in tomorrow, how sore it is. I’m guessing he’ll be down for a couple of days. Optimistically, I’m hoping he’ll be back in the Angels series.”
The Rangers have fallen out of contention, and the focus has turned to evaluating young players. Choo is 38, a free agent this offseason, and he has talked about continuing to play beyond 2020. Woodward still wants Choo in his lineup as much as possible.
“He’s a really good example to show our younger guys, the at-bat quality on a daily basis and how to prepare,” Woodward said. “The dialogue with him on a daily basis, how he goes through it with each at-bat, each pitcher, talking on the bench. Those things are invaluable to these guys. They need to hear it.”
Rangers rookie second baseman Nick Solak, who has been prematurely thrust into the cleanup spot of a depleted lineup, said Choo is a true professional.
“He knows exactly what he wants to do and can perform because he has that preparation and confidence that what he has studied is going to happen,” Solak said. “It’s fun to watch and cool to learn from. … He is a great guy to have in the lineup.”
The Rangers’ young players need all the guidance they can get after losing for the 18th time in the past 21 games. Left-handed starter Kolby Allard had a rough afternoon on Monday against the Mariners, allowing a career-high eight runs in 3 2/3 innings.
Allard had allowed four runs over 12 1/3 innings in his previous two outings, and Texas had been hopeful he was headed in the right direction.
Instead, Allard allowed a two-run home run to Kyle Seager in the first and a solo shot to Dylan Moore in the third. Moore’s three-run double was the big blow in a five-run fourth inning. The Rangers were trailing, 3-2, and Allard was trying to get out of a two-out, bases-loaded situation. Moore worked the count full and lined a double to left.
Allard’s biggest issue seems to be pitching with runners on base. Over seven outings, opponents are hitting 8-for-64 (.125) with the bases empty and .369 (17-for-46) with men on base. Allard is also putting extra runners on by walking 5.02 batters per nine innings.
“He’s got to find a way to execute in those situations,” Woodward said. “He can’t seem to stop the bleeding. It’s not from a competitive standpoint -- obviously, he is out there competing harder than anybody -- but we’ve got to find a way to be able to execute.”
Lance Lynn will try to snap a personal two-game losing streak when he opens the Rangers' homestand on Tuesday against the Angels. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. CT, live on MLB.TV. He has thrown 100-plus pitches in 33 straight starts, the fourth-longest MLB streak since 1988. He is 3-2 with a 3.92 ERA in seven career starts vs. the Halos.