That's not the way manager Ron Washington sees it, however. He said it was all about execution -- or lack of it.
He points to Nelson Cruz getting thrown out at home plate in the fourth inning Saturday and with the Rangers getting leadoff doubles from Cruz in the second inning and Mitch Moreland in the eighth inning and not getting the runner to third base either time.
Cruz, who has a history of leg issues, lost stride going around second base and should have been held up at third base by coach Dave Anderson. Instead, Mariners right fielder Casper Wells got a clean hop off the wall, threw a strike to second baseman Kyle Seager and Seager got the ball to catcher Jesus Montero with time to spare.
On the Cruz leadoff double, David Murphy didn't move him over. If he had, Mike Napoli's subsequent fly ball would have been deep enough for a sacrifice fly. The Moreland double in the eighth was followed by a walk to Craig Gentry, but Ian Kinsler, who generally has no trouble bunting, couldn't get the ball down and struck out. That meant that a deep-enough fly ball from Elvis Andrus went to waste.
"It's all about execution at this time of the season," Washington said. "I told these guys at the start of this last stretch we're going to see good pitching in our division every day. Now it's not about our stats. It's about executing when you have the chance.
"That means [Cruz] stopping at third. That means getting the two sacrifice flies that could have won the game for us yesterday. From here on out, we've got to execute better."