Published August 04, 2014
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Texas Rangers try to avoid a seventh straight road loss on Monday when they open a three-game series with the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.
Texas has the worst record in baseball and has dropped 33 of 41 after a three- game sweep at the hands of the Cleveland Indians over the weekend. The Rangers seemed well on their way to a win on Sunday, but surrendered a home run in the ninth to tie it, then Michael Brantley's solo shot in the 12th carried the Indians to a 4-3 win.
"Bottom line is we got the ball to the ninth inning with a chance to win and we just didn't close it down," Rangers manager Ron Washington said.
It may not get any easier for the Rangers on Monday, as they turn to righty Nick Martinez, who is 0-6 with a 7.45 ERA over his last eight outings. Martinez was knocked around by the New York Yankees on Tuesday to the tune of six runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings, dropping him to 1-7 overall on the year with a 5.08 ERA.
"I feel like I'm learning every time I take the mound. As a competitor, it's a little frustrating," said Martinez, whose only win came back on May 24. "It's not the kind of year I want, but the season is almost over so I have to finish strong."
Chicago, meanwhile, dropped two of three to the Minnesota Twins and was absolutely shellacked in Sunday's rubber match, 16-3, as the White Sox bullpen allowed 15 runs over the final four innings.
"They're the guys in there so we're going to have to make it work somehow," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said of the bullpen.
Hector Noesi takes the hill for the White Sox on Monday, as he tries to bounce back from a poor showing his last time out. Noesi lost in Detroit on Wednesday and was hit for six runs and 10 hits in six innings. He is 5-8 on the year with a 5.21 ERA.
"He's had games where he has been very tough and in Detroit he had the first inning that really hurt him," Ventura said. "But from where we were to where we are at now with even when they are going in there, you feel like you've got a shot."
Noesi, who made three relief appearances for the Rangers this season, is 0-2 against them with a 5.63 ERA in four games (2 starts).
The Rangers took two of three from the White Sox earlier in the year in Arlington, but have lost seven of their last eight at U.S. Cellular Field.