Martin Perez's 26 consecutive scoreless innings streak came to an end, as the Rangers struggled to pitch and hit, in their 9-3 loss to the Oakland A's.
Perez's streak was halted in the first inning when Derek Norris hit a double that would allow Coco Crisp and Yoenis Cespedes to score, and give the A's a lead that would only continue to grow as the game progressed.
The eight hits and eight runs given up Perez were shocking, as he was coming off two consecutive complete game shutouts where he'd given up a combined six hits. It wasn't hard to tell that something was off about Perez, especially for the man who catches his pitches.
'Every time he was behind, he was trying to throw a trap with the ball, but it was curving in to the plate, it was not sinking away like the previous start' said Rangers catcher Robinson Chirinos. 'Every time he was getting a throw, he was throwing a strike in the corners. Today he was missing his place, and when you miss your place in the big leagues you're going to get hit.'
One of Perez's shutouts had came against Oakland last week, but a few tweaks in the lineup were all the A's needed to take down the Rangers young ace. It's easy to see how frustrating tonight had to be Perez, but he knows that he has to stay positive.
'They were more aggressive and I missed the zone too much' said Perez. 'I'm going to stay with my same mentality and I have to work hard. I'll come tomorrow and do my routine and be ready for the game against Colorado. That's all.'
Though they were able to avoid another shutout, the Rangers offense continued to struggle at the plate and were unable to score at opportune times. It's one thing for the Rangers bats to struggle when the pitchers are performing their best, but if the pitchers continue to struggle as well, the batters will need to step up their game.
'We're not clicking' said manager Ron Washington. 'You know, we're not getting many opportunities in the middle of our order, and the past couple days the bottom of our order is the guys who have been getting the opportunities and we just haven't been able to come through. I mean, we had four innings tonight where I thought if we could've scratched one run, and then maybe scratch a couple runs in some situations, it might have been a different ball game.'
After sweeping the A's last week, the Rangers have fallen short in their endeavors to even make it a close game in the past two days. If they want to avoid being swept themselves, the team will need to make some changes in how they approach the talented A's lineup.
'They take a lot of pitches and make those pitches work' said Chirinos. 'I think when you don't execute the pitch, they're putting good hits down. That's what happened yesterday and today. So I think if we need to get ahead of those guys quick, and get quick outs.'
It was a sad birthday for Wash, as the Rangers lost for the sixth straight year on his birthday since he became the team's manager. However, if the Rangers are able to bounce back and avoid a sweep on dollar hot dog night tomorrow, I'm sure all will be forgiven.
Tomorrow's game is slated for 7:05 p.m. CT.