Texas can't take advantage against Rays
APR 10, 2013 6:08p ET
It didn't happen that way though.
Despite getting solid pitching from Derek Holland and having plenty of scoring chances against the Rays, none of them materialized as the Rays blanked the Rangers 2-0.
Texas had baserunners in each of the final four innings but was unable to do anything. The Rangers stranded 10 runners and went 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position.
"We just didn't get it done today," first baseman Mitch Moreland said. "Derek threw a great game for us, pitched well enough to win. We just didn't get it done."
Moreland had a hand in one of the big innings that went awry for the Rangers.
Down 2-0 in the sixth inning, Texas loaded the bases with one out after reliever Cesar Ramos walked Jeff Baker on four pitches. Moreland then took two balls against the left-hander before grounding a 2-0 pitch to second. Baker tried to break up the double play but was called out for trying to take out shortstop Yunel Escobar. Moreland beat the relay to first, which would have scored a run, but was called out because of the Baker slide.
Tampa Bay pitchers walked eight Rangers, including two in the sixth inning. Moreland said he was swinging on 2-0 because he got a fastball down the middle.
It turned out to be that kind of day for Texas, as the Rangers followed that inning by stranding Craig Gentry at second base.
Again in the eighth the Rangers had a chance to get back into the game after getting a single from Adrian Beltre and a double from David Murphy to put runners on second and third. But pinch-hitter Leonys Martin hit a ball to right that Ben Zobrist caught. Zobrist then threw out Beltre trying to score from third to complete the double play.
Texas manager Ron Washington had no second thoughts about any of his decisions. He wants Moreland to face left-handed pitching. He had no problem with Beltre trying to score on the fly ball and he also decided to give Lance Berkman a full day off instead of having him pinch hit in the game.
"They kept us off the board," Washington said. "It's hard to sweep a major-league team. Today they came out and pitched well enough to keep us off the board. We had opportunities. We just didn't cash them in. Derek did his job. The Tampa pitchers just kept us off the board."
Holland was the lone bright spot for Texas Wednesday.
The left-hander (1-1) pitched eight innings and allowed just two runs, one coming in the third and another in the fifth. He walked three and struck out four.
Holland has now pitched seven innings and allowed two or fewer runs in six of his last eight starts. All three of his walks came in the third inning when Tampa Bay scored the only run it needed on a ground ball.
"I felt really good," Holland said. "I was out there making my pitches. The only thing was I had a couple of key walks and they kind of hurt me and they took advantage of it. I was doing everything I could. They got the job done with their pitching. You've got to tip your cap to them. We just got beat."
The Texas offense had nothing for Tampa Bay starter Matt Moore. He didn't allow a hit until Craig Gentry singled with one out in the fifth. That doesn't mean the Rangers didn't have chances thanks to the walks. The eight walks were the most Texas has ever had in a shutout loss.
Moore lasted just 5 1/3 innings despite giving up just one hit because Texas had six walks against him.
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