ARLINGTON -- Brennan Boesch's last home run last season was a go-ahead shot in the eighth inning off Rangers reliever Mike Adams, who had just come over from the Padres at the Trade Deadline, to earn a major win. That was an eight-pitch at-bat with four consecutive 0-2 pitches fouled off.
Boesch's pinch-hit at-bat in the ninth inning of a tie game against the Rangers on Saturday lasted one pitch, a slider inside that broke Boesch's bat as he hit it on the ground to the right side. It was still hit hard enough that first baseman Mitch Moreland had a force play at home plate to retire Miguel Cabrera, who went on contact but didn't have the speed to force a rushed throw.
Manager Jim Leyland said hitting coach Lloyd McClendon talked with Boesch before the at-bat once Adams entered.
"Mac told Boesch exactly what Adams was going to do," Leyland said, "and he swung at a bad pitch. He threw in on him to tie him up, and that's what he did. That happens. Had he got it out over the plate, he might have smoked it. You have to look for a pitch in that situation that you can drive. He got antsy, and [Adams] cut the ball in on him.
"It wasn't a bad, bad ball, but it was probably a ball."
Boesch had three more first-pitch groundouts on Sunday against right-hander Yu Darvish, who jammed him on cutters in back-to-back at-bats to strand runners on base after Prince Fielder had walked twice.
Boesch went 0-for-7 for the series. The quick outs, in particular, were a major contrast to last Tuesday, when he saw 21 pitches over two at-bats against Phil Hughes.
"He's struggling right now," Leyland said after Sunday's game. "I don't know what to do with him, because he's fighting himself. He gets mad when we talk about relaxing, but he's just fighting himself."
Boesch, by the way, is now 3-for-15 with two walks and two strikeouts for his Major League career as a pinch-hitter. He's 1-for-5 in each of his three big league seasons.