ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The Texas Rangers head into the All-Star break in a major slump, having dropped seven of eight on their homestand.
The latest defeat was a tough 2-1 loss to the San Diego Padres on Sunday.
The Rangers (42-46) stand six games out of first place in the A.L. West at the break compared to 21 games behind a year ago, when they’d compiled the majors’ worst record. But after going six games over .500 through June 19, they’re 5-15 since.
Also, Texas’ 16-26 home record is the worst in the American League. But the Rangers’ first-year manager Jeff Banister didn’t want to dwell on that.
“Ultimately, it’s winning wherever you’re at,” Banister said. “We’re at a point where just need to win ballgames.”
The Rangers didn’t help themselves against the Padres. Will Venable tripled on a sharp grounder that caromed off the glove of first baseman Mitch Moreland and wasn’t immediately retrieved by second baseman Rougned Odor or rightfielder Shin-Soo Choo.
Odor’s throw was too late to get Venable at third. On Will Middlebrooks’ subsequent at-bat with the bases loaded and the infield in, Odor’s throw to the plate skipped past catcher Carlos Corporan.
“To allow a batter to go all the way to third base on a ball that barely gets out to the outfield,” Banister said. “We go after the baseball. That should be our mindset, and we didn’t.”
“When I got to second,” Venable said, “it didn’t seem like anyone wanted to make a play on the ball. I knew if the second baseman fielded the ball, there was no way he could turn and throw me out at third.”
Choo said he initially thought Odor was going to get the rolling ball and, “I gave up too early. That really changed the game.”
Yovani Gallardo (7-8) lasted 5 2-3 innings and allowed one run on six hits. Gallardo, who had a scoreless streak of 33 1-3 innings broken in his last start, hasn’t won since June 27.
Craig Kimbrel gave up a run in the ninth before recording a four-out save, his 23rd of the season. Odor singled in Adrian Beltre, and Kimbrel left runners on first and second.
Texas was 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position. Padres right-hander Tyson Ross (6-7) threw 6 2-3 scoreless innings and extended his homerless streak to 86 2-3 innings, the longest current streak in the majors.
LET ‘EM PLAY: Josh Hamilton, who recently returned from the disabled list following a hamstring injury, slid hard going from first to third on an infield out in the eighth inning. Banister said he won’t tell players to abandon their style to avoid injury: “To ask players not to do what they do instinctually, then you’re asking them to get hurt.”
MAKE IT EIGHT: OF Nick Williams’ of the Rangers’ Double-A Frisco affiliate followed his 7-for-7 performance in a doubleheader on Friday by singling in his first at-bat in Sunday’s Futures Game in Cincinnati. Williams struck out in his other at-bat.
Padres: C Tim Federowicz (right knee) was 1 for 4 Sunday as the DH beginning a rehab assignment with Low-A Fort Wayne. He had an RBI double and three strikeouts.
Rangers: LHP Martin Perez (left elbow) was scheduled pitch on Sunday night for Triple-A Round Rock in what could be his final rehab start before being activated. Perez had Tommy John surgery in May 2014.
The Padres will open a 10-day homestand, which will equal their longest of the season, on Friday against Colorado.
Texas will begin a nine-game road trip on Friday at Houston, where it swept three games in early May.