Rangers' RISP struggles continue vs. Twins

August 17th, 2019

ARLINGTON -- The refrain was the same as it has been for the better part of the last 11 games for the Rangers.

“Unfortunately we just didn’t get the hit,” manager Chris Woodward said in his final few words of a postgame press conference following the Rangers’ 4-3 loss to the Twins on Friday night at Globe Life Park.

Rangers starter gave up two-run home runs to Max Kepler and Jonathan Schoop and had a three-game winning streak snapped. He also had a 19-inning scoreless streak come to an end on Kepler’s homer in the fourth inning. Schoop put the Twins ahead with his shot in the seventh.

“I just wasn’t executing as much as I have been the last few games,” Minor said. “I was getting through it, but there were a lot of hard-hit balls and the two home runs killed me.”

The Rangers are now 3-8 in their last 11 games, and it keeps coming back to their inability of late to hit with runners in scoring position. They were 1-for-11 on Friday night and are .147 in those situations in the past 11 games. This loss left them two games under .500 on the season for the first time since May 19.

“We’ve got to keep pushing,” outfielder Nomar Mazara said. “Finish the season strong and try to find a way to continue to go out and fight and have some fun. It’s not easy to go through what we are going through right now. But we are not going to put our heads down. We are going to continue to work and find ways to win some games.”

The Rangers are 12-42 on the season when they get one or fewer hits with runners in scoring position. They are 44-26 when they get two or more. That goes a long way in showing what one more hit in the right situation can do for a team.

“The one thing I look at, it’s not about getting the big hit,” Woodward said. “It’s about having the preparation going in. For the most part, we are doing a decent job, but at times we could be better in taking advantage of what we know we are going to get in that situation. Getting beat to the punch on the first pitch rather than waiting to see the at-bat.”

Mazara had a two-run double in the sixth for the Rangers’ only hit with runners in scoring position. That gave the Rangers a 3-2 lead. After Schoop put the Twins ahead in the seventh, the Rangers put two runners on base in each of the last three innings, but they couldn’t finish the job.

The tough one was the seventh, when they had runners at the corners with one out but Twins reliever Sam Dyson was able to get Shin-Soo Choo to ground into an inning-ending double play. The Rangers had two on with two out in the eighth, but Rougned Odor struck out on three pitches against left-hander Taylor Rogers. With two on and two out in the ninth, Twins right-hander Sergio Romo got Danny Santana on a grounder to end the game.

“The whole team has to get better with runners in scoring position,” Mazara said. “We haven’t been scoring like we [were] at the beginning of the season. We got to continue to do the little things, get runners over or hit a sacrifice fly, get better at those things.”

A home run might have helped as well. This marked the first time in nine games the Rangers didn’t hit a home run at Globe Life Park.