Martin's shot ruled just foul vs. White Sox

Rangers' offense comes up short against tough pitching

Martin's shot ruled just foul vs. White Sox

CHICAGO -- The Rangers trailed 3-2 when Leonys Martin came to bat against White Sox reliever Zach Putnam with one out in the seventh inning of Texas' 3-2 loss Saturday.

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With the count 1-1, Martin turned on a cut fastball, hitting it high and deep down the right-field line. The ball landed in the seats behind the foul pole, but first-base umpire Gerry Davis called it foul.

"It was really, really close," Martin said. "I can't tell you, it was close. I'm not sure if it was fair or foul."

The Rangers did not have a challenge to use, having lost it earlier in the game. But they could ask for a crew chief review. After debating in the dugout, manager Jeff Banister requested the review, and it was granted.

"I felt like we had a real good case," Banister said. "A strong case, given the flight. It's not where the ball lands, it's where it goes over. I felt like we had a really strong case."

Not strong enough. The ball was ruled foul, Martin struck out on the next pitch and the Rangers ended up losing by one run. The Rangers have been facing some tough starting pitching on this road trip, and Saturday was no different against rookie left-hander Carlos Rodon.

He may not be a Cy Young Award winner like Clayton Kershaw or Zack Greinke or on a historic strikeout binge like Chris Sale, but Rodon was the third overall pick in the 2014 Draft, so there is some serious talent there.

"He was tough," Prince Fielder said. "He had it going on the mound."

So did White Sox relievers Putnam, Zach Duke and David Robertson, as they combined to retire nine straight hitters. The Rangers scored two runs in the fifth and had one single -- in the sixth by Mitch Moreland -- the rest of the game.

"I think our guys have competed well," Banister said. "They've battled OK. Today we probably helped Rodon by chasing some pitches down in the zone. We were not as stubborn in our approach as we would like to be."

White Sox pitchers struck out 11 on Saturday. In four games on this road trip, the Rangers have struck out 54 times. They scored four runs in the first four innings off of Kershaw on Wednesday but have scored just five runs in their lpast 32 innings. Their last extra-base hit was a home run by Fielder in the ninth inning on Wednesday.

They were hoping Martin's shot would change that.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.