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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, July 28, 2013 6:56 pm

Rangers' bats silent again in 6-0 loss to Indians

The Associated Press

Rangers manager Ron Washington didn't mince words about his team's lost weekend in Cleveland.

"If you're playing bad, you're playing bad," he said. "It's that simple. This is a tough game and everybody struggles, but you've got to be tough every day. Today was a different animal. It looked like we were sleepwalking out there."

Indians right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez and reliever Vinnie Pestano combined on a two-hitter Sunday, completing Cleveland's three-game sweep of Texas with a 6-0 victory.

The Rangers were shut out over the final 21 innings of the series - marking their longest drought since going 25 innings without a run from Sept. 15-19, 2009 - and have lost four games in a row.

Following the final pitch, Washington kept the clubhouse closed for 44 minutes as he held a team meeting. Texas is 2-8 since the All-Star break, making it 8-15 since July 1 when it last led the AL West.

"Win or lose, we should bring the same energy and effort to the field every day," left fielder David Murphy said. "We've been kind of up and down on that this year. After the meeting, I think everyone is on the same page now and we can get back on track."

Elvis Andrus and A.J. Pierzynski accounted for Texas' two hits, with Pierzynski the only player to reach third base.

Andrus doubled in the first inning to extend his hitting streak against Cleveland to 37 games. It is the third-longest streak in major league history against one opponent, trailing Vladimir Guerrero's 44-game run against Texas from 2004-06, and Jacoby Ellsbury's 38-game streak against Baltimore from 2009-12.

Rangers right-hander Alexi Ogando (4-3) made his second start since spending six weeks on the disabled list with a sore shoulder. He only lasted 4 1-3 innings, allowing one run on six hits with a pair of walks, but said his "shoulder is very good, strong."

Washington was less complimentary of Ogando's performance, citing the 92 pitches he threw and the 10 Indians that reached base against him.

"He had baserunners every inning and was fighting every inning, so I thought he was through at that point," Washington said sternly.

Left-hander Robbie Ross followed Ogando and allowed three runs in the sixth, extending Cleveland's lead to 4-0. Michael Bourn's two-run double to the wall was the big blow.

The Indians closed out the scoring in the eighth when Mike Aviles clubbed a two-run homer off Ross Wolf, completing their 13-hit outburst.

Texas right-hander Tanner Scheppers, in his first appearance since being involved in a physical altercation in downtown Cleveland early Friday morning, tossed a perfect seventh. The 6-foot-4, 200-pounder sustained cuts above his nose and a bruised left eye.

Jimenez (7-5) matched his longest start of the season by going eight innings for the Indians, who lead the majors with 14 shutouts. He received some help in the eighth from right fielder Ryan Raburn, who robbed Mitch Moreland of an extra-base hit by making a leaping catch before crashing into the wall. Moreland is hitless in his last 20 at-bats.

Jimenez retired 10 straight Texas batters before Pierzynski's leadoff single in the fifth, then set down nine Rangers in a row to end his afternoon. Pestano allowed a walk to Andrus to open the ninth before completing the shutout.

Texas went 0 for 3 with runners in scoring position, making it 1 for 9 since Andrus crossed the plate with two outs in the eighth inning of Cleveland's 11-8, 11-inning victory Friday night.

"There is a difference between getting beat and losing. The first two games here, we got beat," Washington said. "I don't get frustrated, but I am a little upset. And the upset is more today than it was yesterday or Friday or Thursday or Wednesday or Monday or Tuesday. I need to get my guys going back down the yellow brick road."

NOTES: Moreland, in a 2-for-36 slump (.056), will likely be rested in two of the next three games. "I hope a couple of days off will help him," Washington said. "But the responsibility to get it done is on him." ... Rangers RHP Yu Darvish was pulled after throwing 123 pitches in six innings Saturday in a 1-0 loss to the Indians. "He told me he threw 149 every time out in Japan and was fine to keep going," Washington said. "But I got slapped on the wrist for letting him go 130 earlier this year, so there is no way he's ever going that high." ... Texas returns home Monday night to begin a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels. Rangers RHP Matt Garza (1-0), acquired from the Cubs last week, faces RHP Jered Weaver (5-5). Garza is 7-1 in 12 starts this season.