Instant Replay: Rangers Bullpen Was Great Until It Wasn’t in Extra Innings Loss to Red Sox

Tony Gutierrez/AP Texas Rangers catcher Jonathan Lucroy waits for the throw to the plate as Boston Red Sox’s Deven Marrero (17) scores on a Dustin Pedroia single in the second inning of a baseball game, Monday, July 3, 2017, in Arlington, Texas. Pedroia’s hit also scored Sam Travis. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Instant replay and observations from the Rangers’ 7-5 11-inning loss to Boston Monday night Globe Life Park in Arlington where fireworks were the crowd’s consolation prize:

What you need to know: Even when the bullpen gets the Rangers through the ninth inning successfully, something goes haywire. On Monday, it happened in the 11th after four relievers had combined to allow just two baserunners in 4.1 innings. Then, Ernesto Frieri walked the No. 9 hitter, allowed a double off the top of the wall and a two-run bloop single. It sent the Rangers to a loss on a night when they scored in the bottom of the ninth off Craig Kimbrel to tie the game and saddle him with just his second blown save of the year.

Dude of the day: Mike Napoli sent the game to extra innings for the Rangers with a thunderous home run off Craig Kimbrel on the first pitch of the bottom of the ninth. Napoli has hits in four straight games with three homers in that span. It was only the second home run Kimbrel has allowed this year. Right-handed hitters had been 2 for 67 (.030) against Kimbrel this season with no homers.

Rotation report: Martin Perez failed to make it through the sixth, yet again. It was the fifth time in his last six starts. Alas, Perez made the pitch he need to Tzu-Wei Lin with two outs in the sixth and got a slow-rolling ground ball towards second, which Rougned Odor fielded while charging and then dropped the ball while trying to make a throw. Boston scored three runs after the error. Perez still threw too many pitches: 102 in 5.2 innings. Perez is averaging 17.7 pitches per inning this year, the worst rate of his career.

Did you know? Joey Gallo (21) and Mike Napoli (17) are both on pace for 30-homer seasons, despite the fact that both are hitting below .200. In MLB history, there have only been 12 previous occasions where a team had at least one player with 20 homers and a sub-.200 batting average. No team has ever had two.


Walker, Texas Ranger: With the Rangers’ No. 5 spot continuing to be an offensive swamp, teams are simply electing not to pitch to Adrian Beltre and letting him walk without a second thought. Beltre walked twice Monday and has eight walks in his last four games. This is not a player prone to taking walks. On the two occasions, he walked Monday, Rougned Odor, the No. 5 hitter for the night followed by making the final out of the inning. Rangers No. 5 hitters entered the game with a .623 OPS, lowest for the spot in the majors.

Slump-busting: Nomar Mazara had a solid at-bat that led to an opposite-field eighth-inning single and brought the Rangers within a run. It ended a stretch in which Mazara had been 3 for 35 (.086). His batting average had dropped from .278 to .257 during the skid.

Petey packs a punch: Twice the Rangers ended up facing Dustin Pedroia with two outs and runners in scoring position. That’s not a good spot to be in. On both occasions, Pedroia, who just refuses to strike out, delivered two-run singles. Pedroia is now hitting .449 (13 for 29) with two outs and runners in scoring position this year. Pedroia’s single in the sixth came two batters after a Rougned Odor error extended the inning in what had been a tie game.

More Pedroia: Pedroia might have saved the Red Sox in the bottom of the ninth, too, when he went behind first base to back up a throw that was wide of the bag, caromed off the brick wall and bounced to him. While Carlos Gomez started to take a wide turn, Pedroia shuffled the ball accurately to a back-pedaling Mitch Moreland, who applied the tag on the move to get the first out of the inning after Mike Napoli’s game-tying homer. It was a fantastic defensive play.

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