In the last week and a half, the Rangers have posted nine runs off of Felix Hernandez and eight off of Chris Sale, who each rank in the top eight in the American League in season ERA.
But the Texas offense has failed to produce more than two runs against the likes of Liam Hendriks, Mike Pelfrey, and Kevin Correia for the Minnesota Twins.
That includes a 4-2 loss to Correia and the Twins Sunday afternoon in Arlington. Two solo home runs were all the Rangers could muster in the runs category.
Mitch Moreland broke a scoreless tie in the third inning with an opposite-field, 373-foot home run over the 16-foot-high wall in left field.
A.J. Pierzynski added a pinch-hit, solo blast to the upper deck in right field in the eighth inning to cut the Ranger deficit to two runs.
Jim Adduci singled in his first major league at-bat in the second inning, one of seven hits for Texas on a blistering triple-digit Sunday afternoon. But other than the two home runs, the Rangers advanced just one runner to third base Sunday.
Correia needed just 79 pitches to get through seven innings, striking out two Rangers while allowing the one run.
Rangers’ starter Travis Blackley was efficient through his first four innings of work, throwing 57 pitches through those four frames.
Blackley worked out of a no-out, runner-on-second situation in the fourth inning and kept a zero on the Minnesota half of the box score.
But the lefty had tough luck in the fifth inning. Failure to turn a double play put a runner at second base with one out. A double by Josmil Pinto, a Texas-leaguer from Doug Bernier that turned into a ground-rule double, and a bloop single to left by Alex Presley plated three Twins in the inning.
Neftali Feliz entered his first ball game in over 16 months after 81 Blackley pitches over four-and-a-third innings.
Feliz threw one-and-two-thirds innings in his 2013 debut, striking out two Twins and allowing one hit. Feliz’s fastball was consistently in the mid-90s, and he had good control of his pitches, throwing 18 strikes on 26 pitches.
Joe Ortiz, Joakim Soria, and Robbie Ross finished the game for the Ranger bullpen. Soria surrendered one run in the eighth inning on an RBI infield single by Josh Willingham.
Jared Burton pitched the eighth for Minnesota, and Glen Perkins recorded save no. 32 on the season with a scoreless ninth inning.
Leonys Martin gunned down Darin Mastroianni at home plate in the first inning as Mastroianni tried to score from first base on a double. It was Martin’s twelfth outfield assist of 2013.
The Rangers lost two of three games to Minnesota over the weekend, and four of seven in the season series. The Rangers head to Oakland for a three-game set with the Athletics.