The Texas Rangers know they’re in a slump.
But they know they’re also close to breaking out.
The Rangers entered Monday’s series against the division-leading Oakland A’s on a six-game losing streak after being swept by the Toronto Blue Jays, but they feel they are just one big hit away.
“We are so close,” said left-handed pitcher Derek Holland, who took the loss on Sunday against the Blue Jays. “It’s going to happen. We are just one click away. It’s just a matter of who’s going to do it. We’re doing as much as we can.”
During the six-game losing skid, the Rangers have been outscored 35-8, leaving 11 runners on base in both Saturday and Sunday’s loses.
While the runs have been sparse, the hits have been there – though not necessarily for power. The Rangers have had 24 hits in three games over the weekend.
“We are hitting the ball,” Holland said. “We had nine hits (Sunday). They’re just making plays when they need to. We’re just one click away.”
The six-game losing streak is the first for the Rangers since the team did so from April 15-21, 2010 – they’d go on to their first World Series later that year.
“You have to continue to play hard,” Texas shortstop Elvis Andrus said. “That’s all you can do. You have to keep swinging hard, keep playing hard and make the adjustments you need to.”
Rangers manager Ron Washington spoke to the team after Sunday’s loss, though the message was kept behind closed doors.
While the team has scuffled with runners in scoring position during the skid, including leaving the bases loaded in the ninth inning on Sunday as well as allowing a one-out, fifth inning double by Leonys Martin stranded, the team is looking forward to getting back on track.
“We’re past the point of frustration,” said Rangers outfielder David Murphy, who was hitting .211 going into Monday’s game. “Things didn’t happen. We have too much talent on this team for this go on. We’re very close to turning this around.”
The Rangers could get an added boost to their offense as first baseman Mitch Moreland was sent on a rehab assignment to Double-A Frisco. Rookie Chris McGuiness has batted just .200 with 12 strikeouts in nine games in Moreland’s absence.
In the meantime, the Rangers look to get things going with the players they do have. That starts with a four game series with Oakland.
“We hate Oakland and they hate us,” Holland said. “We’re going to do everything we can to gain ground just like they’re going to do anything to pull away. Tomorrow is a new day. The sun is still going to come up. We just have to go out there and do what we’re capable of doing.”