The Rangers lost 5-2 to a Tampa Bay team that clearly is the best outfit the Rangers have played this season. The Rays won 2 of 3 in the series to end the Rangers club-record streak of consecutive series victories to start a season at six.
The most important news Sunday came after the game, when Josh Hamilton said that his back stiffness should not prevent him from playing Monday at Toronto. He said that he has experienced similar spasms in the past, and they have gone away in 12 hours.
The spasm started after he singled to center field to drive in the first run of the game. He stayed in the game, but didn't feel like he could rotate his torso the way he would need to the rest of the game.
"I made contact, and about the third or fourth step out of the box I felt my mid-back tighten up on me," Hamilton said. "I've had it happen before. It usually takes about 12 hours or so, and then it releases."
Derek Holland said that he left too many pitches up to Tampa Bay in the second and third innings as they scored four of their five runs. He also said that he doesn't think he has pitched too poorly in his past two starts even though he has allowed 12 runs in 18 hits in 13 innings.
"I caught too much plate," Holland said. "I was trying to make the pitches I wanted, but you’ve got to give them credit. They’re a good hitting team. And they made sure I paid for my mistakes."
The Rangers are expecting to leave for Toronto a little after midnight and land at Pearson International around 4. Depending on how friendly customs officials are, the Rangers could be in their hotel rooms by 5:30.
Ron Washington was ejected at the end of the seventh inning after coming to the defense of Ian Kinsler, who was arguing a called third strike. It was the 13th ejection of Washington's tenure with the Rangers.
-- Jeff Wilson