The Texas Rangers dropped their eight game in a row on Wednesday night, and the long ball was one of the main culprits yet again.
Rangers starter Jordan Lyles was taken deep three times by the Detroit Tigers in the 4-2 loss. Lyles was able to pitch through seven innings, but the four runs on three long balls left the veteran right-hander frustrated after the game.
"I didn't stay on the outer- and inner-thirds of the plate," Lyles said. "The mistakes they were hitting went over the fence again. I'm okay with the seven innings, but I've gotta stay away from the long ball. Hopefully I can figure it out."
Lyles has now given up 24 home runs this season, which is the second-most in Major League Baseball. Remarkably, teammate Mike Foltynewicz is MLB's leader with 28 home runs allowed.
The offense didn't fare much better. The Rangers were only able to muster two runs on five hits, and they were only 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position. The Rangers' first run of the game came on an RBI double hit to the deep alley in left-center field that allowed Joey Gallo to score from first base.
"I thought we could have done a better job," said Rangers manager Chris Woodward. "I know we're not hammering balls all over the place right now. But we got some decent pitches to hit."
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They didn't hit them.
Woodward felt like his lineup did not take advantage of some changeups left over the plate by Detroit starter Matt Manning. He was also displeased with the way the team failed to do more damage after Hicks' second-inning double. David Dahl flied out to right field, Eli White popped out on a bunt attempt and Charlie Culberson popped out to shortstop.
"We let them off the hook," Woodward said. "That was an opportunity that we let slip. We could have had the chance to get the lead right there. Those are the at-bats we're talking about. We've got a runner on second with nobody out. We've gotta find a way to cash that in."
The Rangers (35-61) will have a chance to try to make the most out of those opportunities on Thursday afternoon as they wrap up their four-game series with the Tigers (46-51). Mike Foltynewicz (2-9, 5.91 ERA) will take the mound for the Rangers, and square off with Detroit southpaw Tyler Alexander (1-1, 4.40 ERA).
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