Juan Soto doubled to lead off the sixth, and one out later Nelson Cruz hit a game-tying two-run home run that evened things up at 2-2 in the 2nd of three for Washington’s Nationals in Arlington, TX’s Globe Life Field, but the visitors were 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position overall, and six left on base in what ended up a walk-off, 3-2 loss to the Texas Rangers.
“I mean, just hitting comes and goes, it’s part of the game,” Cruz said after connecting for the Nationals’ only hit with runners in scoring position in the game.
“We have to focus on the things we can control, play defense, run the bases and stuff like that. Hitting will come at some point.”
“We had our chances,” manager Davey Martinez told reporters in his post game press conference in the Rangers’ home.
“We had our chances early, we had our chances late, we’re just struggling driving in some runs now, so, and we clearly got one taken away from us.”
The one he felt was taken away from the Nationals was on a Nelson Cruz liner in the eighth, an at-bat after Josh Bell singled to start the inning. Rangers’ third baseman Josh H. Smith dove for the ball, and it appeared to glance off his glove while in fair territory before landing foul, so, the Nats argued, it should have been a fair ball.
“It becomes a judgement call,” Martinez said of what he was told when he asked the umps to discuss it and see if anyone saw what he and his DH did.
“So you can’t review it, and I just saw it again, and I hope they look at it tonight, that’s all I’m going to say.”
“It was obvious,” Cruz said. “I saw it right away. He hit it and he was in fair territory. Like you said, it was judgement call. Probably it was tough for him to see the baseball and see where the defender was in that situation. I guess he needed help from the other guys, but yeah, that hurt us, yeah.”
“You have to treat it like it was a foul ball,” he said when asked how he moved on from it, and tried to stay in the at-bat, which ended with a double play.
“At the end of the day, that’s what it was.”
“Just a tough day for our offense, so we got to come back tomorrow,” Martinez said. A win in the finale with the Rangers and the Nationals have a series win.