Rangers Miss Opportunity in Cleveland

Texas Rangers' Judd Cody
Texas Rangers' Judd Cody | Image by Texas Rangers/Facebook

The Texas Rangers entered their weekend series in Cleveland amid a six-game winning streak, trailing the Houston Astros by just half a game in the American League West.

However, with first place back in its sights, Texas crumbled as the Cleveland Guardians came away with a three-game sweep, outscoring the Rangers 23-6.

“It’s a humbling game,” manager Bruce Bochy said after Sunday’s loss. “Last series, we couldn’t do anything wrong. This series, we didn’t do a lot right. They were tough on us, pitching. We just couldn’t do anything offensively. … We’re a team that needs to put some runs on the board and had a tough time doing it this series.”

The Rangers struggled from the get-go, striking out 17 times against Cleveland in a 12-3 loss on Friday night and finishing the series 3-15 with runners in scoring position and leaving 17 on base.

Cleveland’s Lucas Giolito struck out a career-high 12 batters in the series-opener as the Guardian’s offense put up nine runs on the Texas bullpen.

Dane Dunning delivered five scoreless innings for the Rangers on Saturday as they clung to a 1-0 lead. However, the Guardians followed a Ramon Laureano double in the eight with a walk and back-to-back RBI singles to take a 2-1 advantage. Nathaniel Lowe led off the top of the ninth with a single but was erased from the base paths by a double play, and Travis Jankowski struck out to end the game.

Texas also held a brief lead on Sunday, but Cleveland exploded for nine runs in the fourth inning while Cody Bradford struggled to pitch out of a jam, and the Rangers fell 9-2 to finish the sweep.

As the Rangers were swept, the Astros lost two of three against the Kansas City Royals and maintained their division lead after a 7-1 win on Sunday.

Texas (82-67) now enters the week trailing Houston (84-66) by one-and-a-half games and will face the Boston Red Sox (74-76) in a crucial three-game series, beginning at 7:05 p.m. CT in Arlington on Monday.

Texas holds a one-game lead over the Seattle Mariners (81-68) for the final wild card spot in the American League and plays 10 of its last 13 games against divisional opponents, including seven against Seattle.

Texas, Houston, and Seattle are all within two-and-a-half games of the division lead as the season enters its final stretch.

According to ESPN, the Rangers have an 83% chance to make the playoffs.

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