Ron Washington takes blame for failed steal

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Aggressive baserunning came back to bite the Rangers in Saturday’s 3-1 loss to Boston.

When Vladimir Guerrero was easily thrown out attempting to steal second base in the ninth inning, the Rangers lost a chance at tying the game with one swing.

Manager Ron Washington, while admitting he didn’t call for the steal, attempted to shield his designated hitter.

“I guess I’ve got to take the blame for not putting a hold on in that situation,’’ Washington said.

Pinch hitter Mitch Moreland, who homered on Friday, represented the tying run at the time of Guerrero’s failed attempt. Moreland eventually struck out with the bases empty for the final out of the game.

The Rangers’ cut into the Boston’s 3-0 lead with Josh Hamilton’s 26th home run with one out in the ninth.

Guerrero then followed with an infield single he punctuated with a head-first slide into first base. He made the same kind of slide to first on an important infield single in Friday’s 10-9 win.

The sellout crowd, quieted by Jon Lester for most of the evening, finally had something to get excited about.

A few moments later, the cheers were replaced with fans asking each other “Why are we running in that situation?’’

* Washington credited Lester’s cutter for causing the Rangers’ hitting woes.

“I didn’t see that many breaking balls or changes,’’ the manager said. “But he was placing his cutter on both sides of the plate.’’

Lester retired David Murphy on a ground ball to first with one out and Nelson Cruz at third in the seventh when the Rangers trailed, 1-0.

“He got the ball in on Murphy,’’ Washington said. “We had chances a couple of times and couldn’t get it done.’’

*Rangers starting pitcher Colby Lewis took a calm overview of what would have been a frustrating night for many other pitchers.

“It’s the way it goes sometime,’’ said Lewis, who was charged with one run in 6 2/3 innings, yet was charged with his ninth loss.

“As long as you are doing what you can to keep your team in the game, you’re doing your job,’’ Lewis said.

“I felt like I had pretty good stuff.’’

Lewis is 0-4 in his last five starts with a 2.76 ERA. The Rangers are 0-5 in those games. But Lewis can hardly be blamed. The Rangers have scored just 1.4 runs per game in those five games and batted a combined .168.

*Washington had no news on the severity of the tightness in the left hamstring that caused Nelson Cruz to leave the game in the eighth inning.

“He said he felt it when he went to third base [legging out a triple],’’ Washington said. “We hope he’s OK.’’

Cruz has been on the disabled list twice this season.

*Reliever Darren O’Day proved to be human after all. O’Day’s streak of 29 straight scoreless appearances (covering 26.1 innings) ended in the ninth when Boston touched him for two runs.

“We let the game get out of hand at the end,’’ Washington said. “There were outs we should have had that we didn’t get.’’

Center fielder Julio Borbon dropped Marco Scutaro’s sacrifice fly in the ninth inning, but both Boston runs in the inning were earned.