Fresh off a victory, the Texas Rangers were back to their losing ways, falling 10-1 at the behalf of the Tampa Bay Rays.
Batting practice didn't occur on the field before Wednesday's game, so the Rays decided to take advantage and hit some long shots early in the game. Matt Joyce started it off, with the longest homer of the night, a solo shot into the upper right field porch in the first inning.
In the second, James Loney lead off with a single, which made Sean Rodriguez's home run in the next at-bat worth two runs. Curt Casali almost hit a home run, but an umpires review confirmed that it was just a double that bounced off the top of the left field wall. The review was unnecessary however, as Brandon Guyer homered with Casali on base for another two runs.
"Obviously you can't make those mistakes early like I did here" said Mikolas. "You've got a team that swings early and they swing hard. If you throw a pitch in their wheelhouse they aren't going to miss it."
Miles Mikolas retired the next nine batters, before again struggling in the sixth. Mikolas walked Joyce, and and then gave up back-to-back singles to Evan Longoria and Loney, scoring Joyce. Yunel Escobar singled to Longoria, giving the Rays their seventh run of the game.
The last three runs for the Rays came in a thrilling seventh inning, Where Mikolas walked Kevin Kiermaier, and hit Guyer with a pitch to begin the inning. Ben Zobrist singled score Kiermaier, and an error by Mikolas on a Joyce ground ball allowed Guyer to score. Nate Adcock came in to replace Mikolas, and allowed a single to Loney that would score Joyce.
The Rangers offense wasn't completely hopeless, scoring one run that at the least prevented them from once again being shut out by the Rays. In the fifth, Leonys Martin's leadoff double was followed by a Robinson Chirinos single, putting two men in scoring position with no outs for Jim Adduci. A sacrifice fly from Adduci scored Martin, but the Rangers were unable to do much else besides that.
Other than the one quick burst of offensive power, the Rangers were dominated by Rays' starting pitcher Chris Archer, who struck out twelve in seven innings pitched. Archer isn't typically known as an ace, but against the Rangers he was unstoppable.
"He was powering the ball, he was effectively wild, he was able to get his breaking ball over in some instances" said Washington. "Sometimes he hit a spot with it, but mostly it was scattered. It was not an easy pitch to get on.
Alex Claudio came in for the Rangers in the eighth, making his major-league debut. Inheriting two men on the bases with no outs, Claudio was everything the Rangers could ask of him, striking out the first batter he faced, and then getting two flyouts. It was quite the day for Claudio, who received the call that he was headed to the bigs Wednesday afternoon, and didn't make it to Arlington until around 8:15 p.m. In the end, it was worth it.
"It's an unique experience, all my life I was trying to get to the majors" said Claudio through a translator. "When I got here Wash asked me if I was ready to pitch and if I was nervous. I said I was anxious to get there because I'm ready to be here. He told me welcome to the majors."
J.P. Arencibia became the Rangers third position player to pitch in the ninth, and though he looked as if he was playing catch, he did no damage.
The Rangers can't win the series, but they do have a chance to tie it up Thursday with Robbie Ross on the mound. Game time is slated for 7:05 p.m. CT.