A head-scratching loss.

Cole Ragans came off the IL with three scoreless innings in a game the Rangers bullpen blew.

For some odd reason, with two out and two on in the bottom of the tenth inning, Tony Beasley chose to intentionally walk Yordan Alvarez to load the bases.

At the time, even Rangers’ announcer Dave Raymond said that was an odd thing to do. If you have the head cheerleader hesitating with the pom pom waiving, then you know something is weird.

Moments later, Jonathan Hernandez bounced a pitch that got away from Sam Huff, and Jose Altuve at third bolted home with the winning run.

The extra-innings rule might be criticized by baseball purists but there’s no denying those innings with the zombie runner are intense and filled with strategy.

Chris Woodward resisted bunting the runner from second to third. Which is why he rarely won an extra-inning game. And why he’s on paid vacation right now. 

Tony Beasley had Bubba Thompson lay down a bunt. He popped it up for an out. That pretty much killed the instant momentum that a free runner at second give you. 

Semien and Seager ended the inning quickly.

Dusty Baker had his first batter bunt. It was successful. Now, the Astros had a runner at third with just one out. And there are so many ways to score. The way not to score is when a ball is hit sharply to the third baseman. Then the Rangers intentionally walked Jose Altuve.

The next batter slapped a ball to third, and the Astros runner at third, Christian Vazquez, took off for home. This is not one of the many ways to score from third with less than two outs. 

He was an easy out and, in the process, foolishly erased the advantage they had just gotten by bunting him over there in the first place. Impatience got the best of him. 

But now runners were at first and second, with two outs. There was no reason to intentionally Alvarez. There was a force set up already. Beasley had Alvarez walked.

The wild pitch ended the game.

That is how the Rangers lost their seventy-seventh game of the season.