ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - The Texas Rangers could find few positives in Sunday's 8-5 loss to the New York Mets.
Texas played a sloppy game that included two errors and several other misplays. Derek Holland was knocked around for 12 hits. Manager Ron Washington was ejected along with shortstop Elvis Andrus, who was sitting out with a sprained left wrist. And slugger Josh Hamilton got the day off because he's struggling at the plate in day games.
``We're having our ups and downs,' Mitch Moreland said. ``Everybody knows what we're capable of. We're not playing like we know we can. At one point it's going to kick in.'
Michael Young was one of the few bright spots for the Rangers, homering in his third straight game to match a career high and extending his hitting streak to 12 games. Young had three RBIs, but received little help from his teammates.
After scoring twice in the first inning, Texas couldn't get much going against Mets rookie Dillon Gee, who rooted for the Rangers as a kid.
Meanwhile, Texas pitchers had no answers for Jose Reyes, who had four hits to post his major league-best 39th multihit game of the season and 12th game of three or more hits.
``I threw a lot of strikes,' Holland said. ``I didn't have any walks. I tried to do everything I could to keep the damage down. Things just didn't go my way.'
Gee (8-1) pitched six effective innings and boosted his winning percentage to .889, best in the majors.
The right-hander has given up only eight earned runs in five June starts. He grew up in north Texas and played college ball at Texas-Arlington, attending many games at Rangers Ballpark as a kid.
``I was a little nervous,' said Gee, who estimated he had as many as 50 friends and family members in the crowd. ``It was really weird being here and pitching. They're an amazing hitting club so I felt pretty pleased with what I did today, especially with not very good stuff.'
Daniel Murphy added three hits for the Mets, who have won four of five overall and took two of three from the AL West leaders to open a key stretch of 13 of 16 games on the road.
The Mets scored a run in the first off Holland (6-3) when Reyes reached on an infield hit, stole second, advanced to third on a flyout and scored on a passed ball.
Gee retired the first two batters in the first, but Young hit his fourth homer in five games and Moreland added an RBI single for a 2-1 Texas lead.
The Rangers had the bases loaded with two outs in the first, but Reyes made an outstanding play on Taylor Teagarden's hard-hit grounder to get a forceout at second and limit the damage.
That turned out to be a turning point in the game.
In the second, Ronny Paulino scored from third when third baseman Adrian Beltre threw wildly to the plate for an error after fielding Angel Pagan's grounder.
Later in the inning, Reyes' RBI single and Carlos Beltran's two-run single gave the Mets a 5-2 edge.
Young's run-scoring single in the fifth pulled the Rangers within 5-3. But the Mets answered with a two-run sixth to expand their lead to four runs.
Frustration boiled over in the sixth when Washington and Andrus were ejected by plate umpire Andy Fletcher.
Pitching coach Mike Maddux was making a visit to the mound and made a comment to Fletcher. Washington, who had earlier argued two close plays on the bases that went against the Rangers, ran onto the field and was quickly tossed by Fletcher.
``I was surprised it didn't happen earlier,' Washington said of his first ejection of the season.
Mets manager Terry Collins was surprised that Andrus was also thrown out. Collins thought Young was doing most of the yapping from the dugout.
``I wanted (Young) out,' Collins said. ``I was tired of watching Young hit the ball out of the ballpark. And that's who it was, too.'
Young refused to use the umpiring as an excuse.
``I'm never going to blame a loss on a call,' he said. ``It's our job to find a way to win ballgames no matter what happens.'
Holland gave up seven runs - three earned - in six-plus innings without a walk or strikeout.
Texas scored twice in the ninth against Francisco Rodriguez on Endy Chavez's RBI double and Young's RBI grounder, but it wasn't nearly enough as the Rangers lost for the 12th time in 19 games.
They simply couldn't keep pace with a Mets offense that had scored four runs or less in nine of the previous 13 games.
New York had 22 runs and 31 hits in the final two games of the three-game set, winning both despite the lack of a homer.
NOTES: Hamilton was given the day off after striking out four times in Saturday's 14-5 loss. The reigning AL MVP is batting .115 in day games this season. He tried contact lenses on Saturday to combat the glare, but scrapped the idea before his final at-bat because he was having problems with depth perception. ... Andrus sat out his second straight game and isn't sure when he'll be back in the lineup. He said the injury isn't serious enough for him to go on the disabled list.
The Associated Press News Service
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