On a cold and rainy night in Boston, a lot went wrong for the Texas Rangers. Pitching was inconsistent, errors were frequent and bats lacked the clutch-factor they so desperately needed as the team fell 5-1 to the Red Sox.
The biggest factor in tonight's loss was the inability to score, as their only run occurred after former Ranger A.J Pierzynski let a pitch from John Lackey go by him to advance Adrian Beltre to third. A sacrifice fly from Moreland scored Beltre, who celebrated his 35th birthday today, to momentarily tie the game up in the fourth.
Coming in to the game today, the Rangers led the American league in average with runners in scoring position, but that statistic certainly didn't show as runners were left on base, in scoring position, in five separate innings.
Compared to last week's Opening Day start, pitcher Tanner Scheppers threw considerably well, only giving up two earned runs. Scheppers did give up nine hits, but was able to get the team out safely in many situations with runners on base. Unfortunately for Scheppers, the two runs he did give up were enough to earn him his second loss of the season.
'It was better, and we're certainly looking for much more' said Rangers' manager Ron Washington. 'He had a little trouble controlling things tonight, but he kept us in the ball game and that's all you can ask. they worked him pretty good and once again, it's certainly better than the first time and we expect it to get better as we continue to move forward.'
Pedro Figueroa, Seth Rosin and Shawn Tolleson all came in to relieve Scheppers, and the Red Sox three additional runs came in the eighth as Rosin's impressive arm he displayed in the seventh wore off.
One positive to consider, is that all four pitchers that saw time for the Rangers also saw time in the Rangers' 14-10 loss to the Phillies, and accounted for twelve of the runs. Only giving up five runs today means that they are at least somewhat improving.
However, one area in which the Rangers are not improving, are the errors they are making on the field. Both Elvis Andrus and Prince Fielder had errors against Boston, giving them a combined five errors in only seven games played.
While Fielder's error came on an outright bad toss to third base, allowing Pierzynski to score in the eighth, Andrus' error was slightly more controversial. In an attempt to make a double play in the first, Andrus was unable to secure the ball and no outs were made. Washington believed that Andrus did in fact make an out at second, and he challenged the call. The Rangers lost the challenge, bringing them to 1-1 in challenge attempts this year.
Though the Rangers now have a Major League high ten errors in the first week of games, Washington said after the game that the team has no reason to worry about their defense, at least not yet.
'The first one that Elvis made' said Wash, ' before this review stuff it was an out, since they called him safe they had to give him an error. The only error I feel we made tonight was the one Prince threw away and that's a part of the game. I don't think anyone in the game works harder on their defense than we do, it's just a matter of waiting until they come and go'.
The errors have come, but the team doesn't have much time to wait until they go, as they take on the Red Sox for game two tomorrow afternoon. Game time is slated for 5:10 p.m. CT