Familiar script for Rangers in loss

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers outfielder Alex Rios turned around from his locker, shrugged and shook his head. He has said the same thing so often in this season, he was trying to come up with some different phrases.

It was a familiar blueprint: The offense couldn't generate many runs, and a Rangers starter wasn't able to get a quality start.

"The only thing I can tell you is we're trying, we're staying positive, and that's the only thing we can do," Rios said.

The offense scored two runs off Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma, who continues to pitch well. He went eight innings in the victory. Colby Lewis got through six innings for the first time in nearly two years at the big league level, but he gave up five runs thanks in large part to a four-run third inning. The Mariners didn't hit the ball hard in that inning, but they located the dinks and dunks well enough to get the lead and hang on to it.

Since April 28, when the Rangers started a three-game series at home against the Oakland A's, the offense has averaged 3.4 runs per game and is hitting .239. The Rangers have hit 14 homers as a team and have left 154 men on base, an average of 7.7 per game.

It's easy to simply blame this offense. But it's not an accurate picture. The Rangers' starting pitchers have a 6.00 ERA in that same 20-game stretch with opponents batting .318. The starters have put together three quality starts in that span. Three. And all of them, as you can probably imagine, by ace Yu Darvish.

The Rangers are 6-14 in those games and have gone from tied for first in the AL West when that series with Oakland began in late April to eight games back after the A's got their 10th win in 11 games Tuesday. The Rangers are in fourth place in the division and have lost 10 of 14.

Adrian Beltre was one of the rare bright spots offensively Tuesday. In fact, Beltre had a great all-around game, charging a bunt attempt by Kyle Seager in the second and throwing him out with an off-balance throw, and then stepping to the plate in the bottom of the inning and hitting his fourth home run of the season.

Still, it wasn't enough to get the win with Prince Fielder missing his third straight game and Leonys Martin scratched because of a stiff neck.

"It's baseball," Beltre said. "We're just going through a rough time right now. Hopefully, we can get out of it quick. We all believe that we can do better and we have no doubt that we have a team good enough to accomplish what we want to do."

They need to change this pattern to do that.