Bobbled Chopper Leads to Most Painful Loss of Season

The Rangers have been blown out. They’ve been shut out. They’ve been battered, bruised and even broken by injuries.

But nothing compares to the excruciating loss Tuesday night in Minnesota. In fact, it’s the Rangers’ worst defeat of the season.

Nursing a 3-2 lead, closer Joakim Soria on the mound and only two outs from a win that would push their surprising hot streak to 7-1, the Rangers instead got small-balled and soft-balled by the wimpiest of Twins’ rallies in a kick-to-the-crotch 4-3 loss.

It shouldn’t have been that close to begin with. Texas had a three-run homer stolen by a great catch from the Twins’ Aaron Hicks. And the Rangers went 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position, failing to get Alex Rios home from 2nd and 3rd with no outs in separate innings.

Nonetheless, they had Soria on the brink of going 9-for-9 in save chances. Usually good enough. But not last night.

After a double and a two-out single that tied the game, Soria loaded the bases but got Danny Santana on a harmless little dribbler back to the mound. Oops. Soria fielded the ball but bobbled it, allowing the winning run to score on a ball that is an out 99 percent of the time.

With Yu Darvish scratched, spot starter Scott Baker did more than enough to win this game. And despite the offensive frustration, three runs sure looked like more than enough.

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Two runs with two outs with Soria on the mound is maddening. There’ve been 26 Rangers’ losses this season. But none more painful.

5. 4.12.14 – Astros 6, Rangers 5: After rallying from down 5-1, Soria gives up a run in 10th in Arlington.

4. 4.25.14 – Mariners 6, Rangers 5: Bad weekend in Seattle starts with Neil Cotts coughing up four runs in 8th.

3. 4.27.14 – Mariners 6, Rangers 5: A 5-3 lead dissolves in the 8th in Seattle as Alexi Ogando gives up three-run homer.

2. 5.14.14 – Astros 5, Rangers 4: Any loss to Houston is bad, especially those when you blow a 4-0 lead.

1. 5.27.14 – Twins 4, Rangers 3: One pitch from a win, Soria allows two runs including the game-winner on a bobbled soft tapper.

A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.

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