The Texas Rangers are not only losing games.
During their 12-game losing streak, the Rangers have completed 105 consecutive innings without even being in the lead.
“It’s the toughest situation I’ve ever been a part of, and I know a lot of these guys can honestly say the same thing,” Texas manager Chris Woodward said.
The 105-inning stretch is the longest in franchise history the Rangers have gone without starting a new inning ahead on the scoreboard. It is the longest such streak in the majors in more than a half-century.
While losing all 10 games in their three-city trip coming out of the All-Star break, the Rangers trailed at the end of 76 of 86 innings played and they were tied the other 10. Texas had also lost at home in its last two games before the break.
Texas (35-65) is 30 games below .500 in the first 100 games of a season for only the third time in franchise history.
The Rangers are back home Tuesday night to start a two-game interleague series against Arizona. The Diamondbacks, with an MLB-worst 31-70 record, and Baltimore are the only teams with fewer wins than the Rangers.
Texas is on pace for its first 100-loss season since 1973.
Right after Woodward and infielder Brock Holt were ejected in the fifth inning Sunday at Houston for disputing balls and strikes, the Rangers took a 1-0 lead when Eli White hit a solo homer. It was the first time they were ahead at any point in a game since going up 2-0 in the first inning against Oakland on July 10, the day their losing streak began with an 11-inning loss.
The Astros went ahead to stay with a two-run homer in the bottom half of the inning and won 3-1, but White’s homer officially ended the Rangers streak of not leading at 99 innings. Elias Sports Bureau, the official statistician of Major League Baseball, counts a lead as happening at any point during an inning. That means Texas was also credited with a lead in the second inning July 10 before the A’s scored twice to tie that game.
During their 12-game skid, the Rangers have hit just .153 with a .247 slugging percentage and have been outscored 80-20. That is even worse than the 1963 New York Mets in a 12-game losing streak, when they hit .166 and got outscored by 50 runs. Texas pitchers have a 7.13 ERA while allowing 30 homers in that span.
The only longer losing streak in Rangers history was 15 in a row in September 1972, with Ted Williams as their manager in the franchise’s first season in Texas after moving from Washington.
“It’s a tough challenge, but you’ve got to take it head on. You can’t shy away from it,” Woodward said. “These guys have got to get a little bit of an edge to them. Great players, great competitors have an edge, they refuse to be beat, they refuse to give in. … A lot of guys individually, and as a group, we’ve got to find that right now.”
After Texas sluggers Joey Gallo and Adolis Garcia both played in the All-Star Game, and veteran right-hander Kyle Gibson threw a scoreless inning in the American League’s victory, the Rangers exited the break with a 10-2 loss against Toronto while getting their only runs in the ninth inning.
Texas was outscored 43-3 and shut out three times in its first five games after the All-Star break. The Rangers lost 14-0 in a series opener at Detroit, the day after getting shut out in consecutive seven-inning games of a doubleheader against the Blue Jays.
Gibson and Gallo, who could potentially be traded before Friday’s deadline, have struggled since the break as has rookie Garcia and pretty much everybody else on the team.
Gallo is hitting .067 (2 for 30) since the break, while striking out 16 times and walking only twice. He still leads the majors with 74 free passes, and his 124 strikeouts rank third. Garcia is batting .125, with all four of his hits being singles. Gibson, whose first loss came in his final start before the break, is 0-2 with an 8.18 ERA in his two starts since, including eight walks over six innings Saturday in Houston.
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