ARLINGTON, Texas — The Phillies had nine opportunities to score with runners in scoring position on Tuesday night, and failed to capitalize on any of them. On Wednesday afternoon, in their 4-2 loss to the Texas Rangers, they avoided a shutout, but only managed five hits and two walks. They only had three opportunities to score with runners in scoring position, and went 0-for-3 in those situations.

“We’re struggling to score runs lately,” interim manager Rob Thomson said. “We still emphasize getting on base and we didn’t have many baserunners today. But [Kyle] Schwarber had a big home run. I thought [Bryson] Stott’s at-bats were better today. So, you know, we just move on to tomorrow and figure it out.”

It was another paltry showing from an offense that was reunited with its best hitter, Bryce Harper, back from the infected finger blister. The defense wasn’t much better; though the box score showed only one error (charged to first baseman Rhys Hoskins in the second inning), poor defensive positioning and botched catches cost the Phillies.

After a two-game sweep by the Rangers, the Phillies are now 36-34. Next, they head to San Diego for a four-game set that starts Thursday.

» READ MORE: Without Bryce Harper, Phillies bats go quiet in 7-0 loss to Rangers

Rough stretch for Castellanos continues

Right fielder Nick Castellanos has not looked like himself at the plate this season, but has looked especially lost of late. He went 0-for-4 on Wednesday and hasn’t recorded a hit since June 17. He is batting .185/.267/.296 over his last seven games and isn’t hitting the ball as hard as he has in years past (per Baseball Savant, his average exit velocity ranks in the 41st percentile in MLB).

“It just looks like he’s jumping a little bit,” Thomson said. “He just needs to get back to who he is. Back the ball up, use the field. Swing at strikes. And sometimes it snowballs on a guy. I still trust him, I still believe in him. I still think he’s going to be where we think he usually is at the end of the year.”

Said Castellanos: “The funny part is, I was telling [hitting coach Kevin] Long, when I feel good is when I don’t get results. But when I feel like I’m up there battling is when I’ll flip a line drive or I’ll get something. But baseball goes like that sometimes.”

A good day for the bullpen

To give credit where credit is due: The Phillies’ bullpen did a phenomenal job of keeping the game in reach. Between Andrew Bellatti, Connor Brogdon, Jose Alvarado, and Corey Knebel, they only allowed one walk with six strikeouts.

Knebel, who has struggled lately with his command, accounted for that one walk. It was a solid outing for him. He induced a flyout, a groundout, and another flyout to end the inning, relying mostly on his fastball. Only two of Knebel’s 23 pitches were curveballs.

The legend of June Schwarber continues

In the third inning, Schwarber hit a two-run home run that left his bat at 103.8 mph and traveled 427 feet into the center-field stands to tie the game at 2-2. It was Schwarber’s seventh home run in June. He’s batting .282/.414/.648 this month, and has a 26-game on-base streak dating back to May 26 — the longest such streak of his career.

Bumpy outing for Wheeler

Zack Wheeler has been nothing short of dominant over the past two months, so it was a bit surprising to see him exit the game as early as he did. After allowing three runs in the first three innings, Wheeler seemed like he was about to bounce back, putting up a 1-2-3 inning in the fourth. But he allowed three hits in the fifth inning, and exited the game after just 4⅓ innings, his shortest outing since April 17, when he exited after just three innings.

“It wasn’t the best,” Wheeler said of his outing. “The command was off. I just felt a little off, in general. Nothing in particular. Just one of those days. You just have to move past this one and move forward. My next start is against Atlanta, so just concentrate on that.”

Wheeler allowed seven hits, four runs, two earned runs and three walks, and had eight strikeouts. The Phillies’ defense did not do him any favors. In the fifth inning, Kole Calhoun hit a ball to right-center field that right fielder Castellanos was not able to cut off. It bounced against the outfield wall. Calhoun was out trying to stretch the double into a triple, but a run scored.

Wheeler’s three walks were the most he’s allowed since his start on May 29 in New York. He finished his day at 99 pitches, 63 of them strikes.

Harper health update

Harper went 1 for 3 with a walk and a stolen base in his return to the lineup. He said after the game that he felt good enough to play on Tuesday, but that he’ll take it day-by-day with the infected blister on his left index finger.

“We’ll see where I’m at [Thursday], and the next day and so forth,” he said. “If I can get out there and play, I’ll play. It is what it is.”