The Texas Rangers aim to avoid an all-too-familiar fate on Sunday when they conclude their four-game series against the host Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim, Calif.
Although the Rangers have averted a one-run loss in this series, it has been a problem all season and one that has them looking at potentially setting an all-time modern record.
Texas is 5-23 (a winning percentage of .179) in one-run games this season. The record for the worst record in one-run games over a 162-game campaign is held by the Arizona Diamondbacks, who went 10-31 (.244) in 2021.
"There's a lot of little plays there that we have to make," Rangers manager Chris Woodward said after their most recent one-run loss against Seattle. "If we're going to win games, we've got to find a way to get it done. We had them on the ropes and just didn't have a big hit or a big at-bat. We're going to find a way to get them.
"We keep fighting no matter how bad it gets. We are going to learn from this. ... We keep getting in these situations and we're going to learn from them. We're going to bounce back. We're going to continue to grow from these things."
Texas bounced back from two losses to begin the series by posting a 9-7 victory on Saturday.
Right-hander Dane Dunning (1-6, 4.38 ERA) will start Sunday's game for the Rangers. He's winless in his last 14 starts, with his only victory of the season coming on April 30 against the Atlanta Braves.
Dunning hasn't pitched as badly as his record indicates - he's been hurt by the one-run loss as much as any Texas pitcher. In fact, the Rangers have lost by one run in each of Dunning's last five starts. He hasn't pitched all that poorly in those games, compiling an ERA of 4.38 and allowing three earned runs or fewer in four of the five games.
Overall, the Rangers are 1-10 in one-run games started by Dunning.
He is 1-3 with a 6.30 ERA in six career starts against the Angels.
Los Angeles left-hander Reid Detmers (3-3, 3.84) will make his 16th start of the season for the Angels. He's had an up-and-down season, considering it includes a no-hitter against Tampa Bay on May 10 and then a demotion to the minors on June 22.
Detmers has been sharp since returning to the big club, going 1-0 with a 1.06 ERA in three starts in July. He has allowed two runs in 17 innings with 19 strikeouts.
Detmers used his time at Triple-A Salt Lake to adjust his slider a bit, and the results have been positive.
"I've been feeling good," he said. "I made a couple tweaks a few weeks ago and ever since then I've felt back to normal. A few small tweaks changed a whole lot."
The primary difference in his slider is that he throws it harder now.
"For him to make those self-adjustments on his own, that's the mark of a frontline starter," Angels interim manager Phil Nevin said.
Detmers is 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA in three career starts versus the Rangers.
--Field Level Media