ARLINGTON, Texas — The Texas Rangers' offense is frigidly cold.
The Rangers fell to the Arizona Diamondbacks by a score of 4-1 on Tuesday night, dropping the first of a two-game series at Globe Life Field. It's only four games into the 2020 season, but it's more than enough games into a 60-game season to raise genuine concerns about what exactly this offense is capable of.
Arizona's Merrill Kelly had his way with the Rangers' lineup, carrying a no-hitter through the first 6 1/3 innings. Rougned Odor ruined the no-hit bid and shutout with a solo home run several rows into the seats in right field.
"I've gotta give credit. Obviously, it is frustrating. When you're not hitting offensively, the energy looks down, everything doesn't look good when you're not hitting. I'll give him credit," Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. "The changeup he was throwing got a lot of our hitters off of it. He was executing, throwing first-pitch breaking balls, kind of mixing up his pitches. ...He threw a good game."
The defense didn't get off to a good start either. The Diamondbacks jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first inning. A two-out walk to Starling Marte sparked a rally that should have been snuffed out on a grounder hit by Christian Walker, but Todd Frazier couldn't handle a low throw from Isiah Kiner-Falefa, scoring two runs. David Peralta followed with an RBI single to score the third run of the inning.
With how anemic the offense has been over the first four games, a three-run deficit seems nearly insurmountable.
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"The throw was definitely catchable. Probably needs to be caught," Woodward said. "I know it was up the line a little bit. Obviously, that play needs to be made on both sides. Izzy needs to make a better throw and Frazier needs to handle it."
Rangers starter Kyle Gibson pitched a very solid game despite the wretched first inning where he was forced to throw 33 pitches. He faced two over the minimum in his final four innings of work. The taxing first inning limited Gibson to only pitched five total innings in his Rangers debut. All three runs surrendered were unearned due to the error charged to Isiah Kiner-Falefa.
“Mistakes are a part of the game," Gibson said. "It’s just one of those plays that didn’t get made. It’s not a big deal. For me, I’m more disappointed that I gave up that extra hit and the extra run in that situation. I try to pride myself on being able to get out of that inning and pick them up."
As a whole, the Rangers lineup is struggling mightily. One hitter struggling in particular is Danny Santana, who is sporting a .059 average (1-for-17) with eight strikeouts in the first four games. Santana recorded the first Rangers hit of the season in last Friday's opener, but is 0-for-14 since. The level of concern for a potentially vital part of the Rangers lineup is steadily rising.
"Obviously, we need to see some results," Woodward said. "We'll talk to him, we'll sit him down tomorrow and kind of see what's going on. His at-bats weren't great today, and I think he'll be the first to tell you that. We just need more production, obviously. We can't go without Danny, we need Danny to be productive for us."
The Rangers try to salvage the two-game series on Wednesday at Globe Life Field. Lance Lynn will take the ball for Texas and will square off against Arizona's Madison Bumgarner. First pitch is at 3:05 p.m. CST.