Rangers pitchers knocked around in loss to Rockies

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DENVER (AP) - Outfielder Mitch Moreland was Texas’ best pitcher on a lost night.

Moreland threw a scoreless eighth inning but the damage was already done long before he took the mound. Carlos Gonzalez had five of Colorado’s season-high 21 hits and Nolan Arenado made several slick plays at third base on a night he extended his hitting streak to 26 games as the Rockies routed Texas 12-1

It’s the third time in Gonzalez’s career he’s had five hits in a game, and it came at the expense of the Rangers.

Robbie Ross Jr. (1-3) had a rough outing as he allowed six runs and 12 hits in 5 1-3 innings and Alex Ogando was touched for four runs and six hits in one-third of an inning.

“They got (hits) in all kinds of ways,” manager Ron Washington said. “When Ogando came in they got every kind of hit you could possibly get.”

But they couldn’t get one off Moreland.

Given the lopsided score, and to save his bullpen, Washington sent Moreland to the mound for the eighth. He set the Rockies down in order as he became only the sixth position player to pitch in Rangers history.

“I had fun. It’s always been a dream of mine,” said Moreland, who said he last pitched in the minors in 2008. “I begged skip for years in situations like that. He came up and offered it to me so of course I was ready to do it.”

Moreland threw mostly fastballs and changeups and hit 94 mph on the radar gun with one of his pitches.

“I tried to let a couple go, especially early in the count, just to have some fun,” he said. “It’s tough in a game like that to have some fun, but it’s always been a dream of mine.”

Leading 4-1, the Rockies broke open the game with a six-run sixth in which they sent 12 batters to the plate. Pinch hitter Brandon Barnes even got up twice, hitting singles both times.

Ross Jr. started the inning but was lifted after allowing Charlie Blackmon’s RBI double to left-center that gave Colorado a 5-1 lead.

Ogando came on and got the second out of the inning before the next seven batters reached against him.

“They put the ball in play and found holes,” Washington said. “There was nothing we could do about it.”

Arenado waited until his final at-bat in the seventh to extend his streak, lacing an RBI double that hit just inside the left-field line. He’s one away from tying the team record of 27 set by Michael Cuddyer last season.

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