ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Rangers were back in win mode before Thursday's game against the Tampa Bay Rays, bouncing around the clubhouse with country star Luke Bryan's song "Crash My Party" blaring on the sound system.
Manager Ron Washington admitted he had a hard time crashing after Wednesday night's excruciating 4-3 loss to the Rays in 12 innings, with the the Rangers coming within a strike twice of winning the game in 11.
Washington said he was up until 2:30 a.m. thinking about several things, from Derek Holland's bounce-back start to the Rangers' inability to turn a double play in the sixth inning -- which was followed up by Holland allowing a game-tying, two-run home run.
There was the combined work of Elvis Andrus scurrying around the bases and third-base coach Gary Pettis being alert enough to send him home for the go-ahead run in the 11th inning. There was Joe Nathan's blown save in the bottom of the inning, the Rangers' failure to score with runners at first and third and one out in the top of the 12th and the lack of execution by reliever Joseph Ortiz in the bottom of the 12th.
It was a lot of stuff; enough to keep you up all night.
"Each game we play is meaningful," Washington said.
One thing Washington wanted to clear up -- Jurickson Profar's poor throw turning the double play in the bottom of the sixth that would have ended the inning with Rangers still ahead 2-0. It wasn't a rookie mistake, Washington said.
"I've been seeing Profar field his butt off," Washington said. "I don't think it was a young mistake. It was a mistake, that's all. Any second baseman in the game could have done that, pulled it. We didn't need it to be pulled. We needed it to be turned, and we didn't get it turned.
"I put him out there because I trust him. And I don't think that the moment had anything to do with it. I've seen him turn tough double plays with people on top of him. I've seen him turn all kinds of double plays."
"If we get in a position and have a chance to put the game away, then the guys we've been using all year to put it away will be out there," Washington said. "I don't think anybody's concerned about getting rest now."
Baker at DH: Jeff Baker was the designated hitter Thursday, and don't expect to see him at first base anytime soon. He is nursing a groin injury.
Soria returns to Kansas City: Joakim Soria returns Friday to Kansas City, where he was the Royals' closer and pitched for five seasons. Soria downplayed his return.
"I don't think too much about that," Soria said. "I'm thinking about helping this team win. It's a pleasure to return to Kansas City because they gave me a chance to be a big league pitcher."
Short hops: Cotts has the lowest qualifying ERA in the majors with a 1.07 mark. The Rangers are 3-8 in extra innings, the worst winning percentage and lowest win total in the majors.