Washington smiles over running blunders

Washington smiles over running blunders

KANSAS CITY -- The Rangers had a hard time running the bases in the third inning of a 4-2 victory over the Royals on Saturday. They scored two runs, but their baserunning cost them a potentially bigger inning.

"It happens," manager Ron Washington said. "That's the way we play and sometimes we screw it up. It was a weird inning. I couldn't get upset with it. I just laughed ... I just smiled."

Josh Hamilton was in the middle of it. With one out, he lined a two-run single to left. When left-fielder Alex Gordon threw to the plate, Hamilton did not try to take second base, which led to an animated discussion with first-base coach Gary Pettis. Hamilton got there anyway when Adrian Beltre singled to center and that set up the strangest play of the inning.

Nelson Cruz hit a grounder to shortstop Alcides Escobar. The ball took a tricky hop, caromed off his glove and out into center field. Hamilton was held at third by third-base coach Dave Anderson, although it appeared he could have scored easily.

Beltre certainly thought so because he was racing to third base, only to have to stop when he saw Hamilton there. By then, Escobar had retrieved the ball and tossed it to second baseman Chris Getz. He tagged out Beltre in a rundown halfway between second and third. Cruz tried for second, but Getz tossed the ball back to Escobar covering. Cruz was tagged out for an inning-ending double play.

"Everybody involved in that melee has to take responsibility," Washington said. "I didn't ask any questions. We just had a terrible inning and we still won the ballgame. Sometimes that comes back to haunt you.

"Everybody had a difference of opinion and a different view of what happened. As a group, if we can't get past that, we're not as good as we think we are. We're past it. I didn't ask any questions after the game or [Sunday] morning."