ARLINGTON --There were three home runs hit in the first two innings on Wednesday night at Globe Life Park. The barrage came just one night after nobody hit one in 14 innings, the longest homerless game in the ballpark's history.
But all three home runs were hit by the Rays off Rangers pitcher Miles Mikolas. That staked Rays starter Chris Archer to a 5-0 lead after just two innings and the Rangers never recovered in a 10-1 loss.
Mikolas ended up allowing 10 runs in six-plus innings. He is the 18th pitcher in Rangers history to give up at least 10 runs in a game, but the fourth this season. It is the 10th time this season a Major League pitcher has allowed at least 10 runs in a game. No other team has had it happen more than once.
"He just couldn't command the baseball," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He couldn't put it where he wanted to. He left too many fastballs over the plate, couldn't put his breaking balls in spots and when he did make a pitch, they found a hole."
Mikolas has been a reliever his entire career before switching to becoming a starter this year. His next step is to learn how to pitch at Globe Life Park. Mikolas has made four starts here and is 0-4 with a 13.73 ERA while opponents are hitting .385 off him. He is 1-1 with a 2.92 ERA in four starts on the road.
The good news is his next start is scheduled for Tuesday in Miami, but eventually he'll have to learn to pitch at Globe Life Park unless the Rangers suddenly move to the Cotton Bowl or Farrington Field in Fort Worth.
"I realize my numbers on the road are night and day from at home," Mikolas said. "I've got to figure out how to be more consistent overall and make pitches at home like I do on the road."
Archer dominated the Rangers for seven innings, allowing one run on four hits, three walks and 12 strikeouts. The Rangers didn't get a hit until Leonys Martin led off the fifth with a double and scored on a single by Robinson Chirinos. The 12 strikeouts were a career high for Archer and the most against the Rangers this season.
"He was powering the ball," Washington said. "He was effectively wild. He was able to put his breaking ball over in some instances but he was just powering the ball. He was throwing it up there 95-97 miles per hour, not an easy pitch to get on."
Mikolas retired the first two batters he faced before Matt Joyce hit a 2-1 fastball into the right-field seats to put the Rays ahead. Mikolas started the second inning by giving up a single to James Loney and a two-run home run by Sean Rodriguez.
Mikolas retired Yunel Escobar on a fly to center before Curt Casali hit one off the top of the left-field wall for a double. The Rays thought it might have been a home run but an umpire review confirmed the original ruling.
The Rays didn't have to wait long. After Kevin Kiermaier grounded out, Brandon Guyer cleared the left-field wall for another two-run home run.
Mikolas then turned around and retired 10 straight hitters through the fifth inning. But the Rays scored two off him in the sixth and three more in the seventh to break the game wide open.
"I made some bad pitches in the first few innings and did a good job of regrouping," Mikolas said. "I was glad I was able to go at least six innings after we had a long game [Tuesday] night. I was hoping to get through seven."
The Rangers didn't have to tax their bullpen too bad because J.P. Arencibia ended up pitching the ninth. He was the third position player used as a pitcher by the Rangers this season.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.