ARLINGTON -- The Rangers didn't get home until the early morning hours on Friday after their three-game road trip to Anaheim. And after a lengthy rain delay prior to their game against the White Sox, they were sluggish. But despite his club blowing a two-run lead and making mental mistakes both on the basepaths and in the field, Rangers manager Ron Washington insisted that the lengthy day wasn't an excuse during a 5-3 loss to the White Sox. "I'm not saying crisp is the reason. We had the ballgame won going into the seventh inning," Washington said. "We just didn't stop them from scoring runs. In the ninth, we had the right guy in there, and they got us. I'm not going to make any excuses."
The Rangers carried a two-run lead into the seventh before starter Colby Lewis surrendered consecutive singles to Gordon Beckham and Juan Pierre. That prompted Lewis' exit, but reliever Alexi Ogando gave up the tying runs on a single by Alex Rios and a sacrifice fly by Paul Konerko. "To start the seventh, I got a good breaking ball and, I don't know, I don't know how [Beckham] got the hit," Lewis said of a ball that eluded shortstop Elvis Andrus. "I hadn't shown him that all night. It led off the inning, and they got two runs out of it." Added Washington: "I thought everything was well. He threw the breaking ball to Beckham, and he just happened to get it out of Elvis' reach. From that point on, Pierre pulled one through the hole at first base, and Rios got the ball up the middle. They executed." The Rangers had a chance to put the game away but were unable to do it. After taking a one-run lead in the third on Vladimir Guerrero's two-run triple, the Rangers looked to be in good position when Josh Hamilton extended the lead to two on his home run in the sixth. But even after the White Sox tied it in the seventh, the Rangers had a chance in the bottom half of the frame. Andrus dropped a one-out single to right field before advancing to second on right fielder Carlos Quentin's error. But with Michael Young at the plate, Andrus took off for third and was picked off. "He took off too quick. In that situation right there, you want to try and let Michael hit," Washington said. "I don't know what he saw that made him want to do it on the first pitch. Right there, you want to let Michael hit." That kept the game tied, 3-3, until the White Sox broke through with a decisive two-run ninth inning. After closer Neftali Feliz surrendered a one-out single to Rios, the Rangers had a chance to turn a double play and escape the damage, but Andrus couldn't make the throw back to first base after recording the out at second. "These guys got a late flight in last night. I took the early flight. It might have played with them a little bit more than it did with me," Lewis said. Washington said that the missed opportunity had nothing to do with the slippery field caused by a torrential downpour that pushed the start time back nearly 2 1/2 hours. "I don't think that had anything to do with it," Washington said. "He just mishandled it. He tried to get it out, he just didn't have it." That proved to be the difference, as designated hitter Mark Kotsay laced a two-run double to put the White Sox on top for good, 5-3. "Obviously, in that situation, you would like to come through for your club," Kotsay said. "It felt great once the ball landed. Normally, I'm used to someone making a diving play and not getting the reward for grinding an at-bat out." The Rangers were also adjusting to a new catcher, Bengie Molina, which didn't help when things began to unravel. "I don't know the kids and how they've been pitching," Molina said. "They're going to have to drive the bus for a little bit until I get used to everybody." Despite that, Molina still felt pleased with his work with Lewis. Throwing six-plus innings, Lewis earned the no-decision by giving up three runs on eight hits with three strikeouts. "We got prepared for the game. We talked about the hitters," Molina said. "I didn't want to go against what he's capable of. I wanted to go with his strength and what he likes best." But Washington was still pleased with Molina's work and is confident that the backstopper -- and the Rangers -- will shake off their recent performance. "I thought he worked well with them all," Washington said. "You've just got to give the White Sox credit for what they did. They won the ballgame. We'll bounce back tomorrow."
Chris Cox is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.