ARLINGTON – The September script for the Texas Rangers remains the same.
They are a team reeling and, despite late-inning rallies, can’t seem to buy a win. The Pittsburgh Pirates polished off a three-game sweep with a 7-5 victory on Wednesday afternoon at Rangers Ballpark.
Texas has now lost nine of their last 12, including eight of 10 in September, and could fall three games back in the American League West if the A’s beat the Twins later tonight.
Trailing 4-0 going into the sixth, the Rangers offense came to life against Pirates starter A.J. Burnett, who didn’t allow a hit until the fifth inning.
David Murphy and Leonys Martin drew consecutive walks to start the inning, and the bases were loaded after an Ian Kinsler single. Elvis Andrus then drove in two runs with a single off a Pirates shortstop Clint Barmes’ glove that bounced into shallow left field to make it a 4-2 game.
The Rangers had a chance to do more damage, but Alex Rios bounced into a double play and Adrian Beltre flew out.
The Pirates negated those two runs, though, by scoring two of their own in the top of the seventh. Pedro Alvarez had a sacrifice fly, and another scored on a wild pitch by Neal Cotts.
Texas responded in the home half with three runs to pull within 6-5. Murphy had a one-out RBI single, and Kinsler and Andrus each had two-out RBI singles.
That, however, was as close as the Rangers would come. The Pirates extended their lead to 7-5 when Barmes clanked a solo homer off the left-field foul pole in the eighth inning against Tanner Scheppers.
The Rangers had a chance to take the lead in the bottom of the eighth. Beltre led off with single, and Mitch Moreland drew a one-out walk to put runners at first and second. But Jurickson Profar struck out and Murphy grounded out to end the threat.
The Rangers went down in order against Kyle Farnsworth in the ninth.
Rangers starter Matt Garza lasted only four innings, allowing three runs on five hits with four walks and six strikeouts. It matched his shortest outing of the season, as he lasted only four innings on May 26 against Cincinnati.-- Drew Davison