Thoughts: Rangers fall, A's gain ground

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The offense couldn't do much as the Rangers were shut out, 2-0. Some quick thoughts (reaction from the Rangers clubhouse coming soon):

* The Rangers have seen three games of their lead evaporate in three days as the A's have closed the gap to seven games. With a four-game series looming, Oakland is hoping to put some more pressure on the Rangers. That magic number is stuck at 6.

* Texas is 7-17 on the road since winning three straight Aug. 4-6. That's the third-lowest road winning percentage in the majors starting Aug. 7, behind Pittsburgh (2-17) and Kansas City (4-for-14).

* The Rangers couldn't do much of anything against Ervin Santana, picking up five hits and no runs. Texas has now scored five runs in the last three games as the offense hasn't found a rhythm. The Rangers were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position (the Angels were 0-for-7).

* Colby Lewis gave up two earned runs in seven strong innings. And he struck out 10 batters for the fifth time this season. Lewis now has 186 strikeouts, tied with Aaron Sele (1999) for the most since Nolan Ryan had 201 in 1991 for the Rangers.

* Lewis pitched a very good game. He got a few pitches up but recovered to limit the damage. Lewis has consistently pitched well with runners in scoring position and did that again on Tuesday. He did all he could, but just didn't get the run support he needed. Of his 95 pitches, 65 were strikes.

* Leadoff extra-base hits hurt Lewis in the two innings that the Angels scored runs. He gave up a triple to Hank Conger in the second and a double to Hideki Matsui in the fourth. Both of those runs scored.

* Mitch Moreland made a bad throw home that put a run on the board for the Angels in the fourth. With Matsui at third base, Conger (yes, that guy again) hit a ground ball to Moreland, who tried to come home to get Matsui. But his throw was way over the head of catcher Bengie Molina.

* Interestingly, Chris Davis pinch hit for Moreland in the seventh inning and stayed in. He's come in as a defensive replacement, but usually after Moreland's final at-bat of the night. We'll see if this is the start of more playing time for Davis, who struck out in his pinch-hit appearance. Moreland is just 2-for-14 on this road trip and 0-for-7 with six strikeouts in this series.

* The Rangers had a chance to do something with runners at first and second with one out in the sixth. Julio Borbon had singled and Elvis Andrus put down a great bunt for a hit. But Michael Young struck out and David Murphy grounded out to second to end the threat.

* Andrus and Ian Kinsler turned a nice double play to end the sixth. Despite a hit and run called, Andrus got to the ball up the middle off the bat of Kevin Frandsen quickly and flipped to Kinsler, who made a nice transition and throw to first.

* It was very strange to see Nelson Cruz bunt with Vladimir Guerrero at first and no outs in the seventh. He was credited with a sacrifice, but it sure looked like he was trying to get a hit. But that's a time when you want Cruz swinging away (one swing could have tied it).

* Andrus is struggling at the plate right now. He's just 2-for-22 on the road trip. He did get a bunt single in the sixth, but also struck out two times. He's not getting on base enough in that leadoff spot the past week.

* Young twice came up with runners in scoring position -- in the sixth and eighth -- and struck out. He is 0-for-9 in this series.