The Rangers concluded a five-game homestand with a 6-4 loss to the Nationals on Sunday, giving Texas a 3-2 record in those contests as they set sail for a nine-game road trip into Kansas City, New York, and Baltimore starting Monday against the Royals.
On Sunday, the Nationals walloped Rangers starting pitcher Glenn Otto, who lasted just two innings. Otto yielded six earned runs on six hits, walked three, and fanned one in the outing.
“His stuff looked OK, he just couldn’t execute, didn’t make pitches, and a lot of long at-bats,” Manager Skipper Chris Woodward said of Otto’s outing. “He was never comfortable out there; just never found a rhythm and was not able to execute.”
Otto’s record drops to 4-3 on the season, and his ERA shot to 5.31.
After Washington posted six in the first two innings, the Rangers bullpen – called on to combine for a win on Saturday in which only relief pitchers tossed the ball – came into Sunday’s affair and closed the door on the National’s run production.
Garret Richards completed three innings and allowed no runs on three hits with one walk and one strikeout. Laredo’s own Jon King spelled Richard and hurled two scoreless innings of his own, allowing no hits and one walk in two innings pitched.
“The bullpen did it again,” Woodward said. “Nine innings yesterday, bullpen only allowed two runs. Today …seven innings, no runs, 16 innings in two days is, you know, we’re actually OK for tomorrow (Monday, against the Royals), but those guys came in and did exactly what we needed them to do.”
While the Texas bullpen shone, the Rangers attempted to mount a comeback.
Trailing 6-0 in the seventh, Texas finally put a crooked number on the scoreboard when Kole Calhoun doubled to centerfield and scored Adolis Garcia, who had singled his way onboard. (Garcia also blasted a walk-off home for a win against Washington the day before on Nolan Ryan Bobble-Head day at Globe Life Field.) The Calhoun RBI cut the deficit for the Rangers to 6-1.
Trailing by five in their final at-bat, Texas mustered three more runs with an RBI single by Nathanial Lowe, followed by Jonah Heim’s 10th home run of the year one batter later, for two RBI and a 6-4 score. Washington closer Tanner Rainey was brought out of the bullpen and nailed the door on the Ranger’s comeback, retiring two.
The loss drops the Rangers to 34-37 on the year and in second place in the AL West, 10.5 games behind first-place Houston and a game ahead of the third-place Angels.
The Rangers will look to get back on track as they head to Kansas City to play the Royals on Monday. The Royals boast a record of 26-45 this season, second-worst in the American League behind Oakland at 25-49.
Probable starting pitchers for Monday’s contest, slated for a 7:10 p.m. start time, are Texas ace Martin Perez (5-2, 1.96) and Kris Bubic (1-4, 7.41) for Kansas City.