Another loss prompts team meeting for Rangers

ARLINGTON, Texas — The Texas Rangers have to hope the worst of June is behind them after another loss Sunday.

They did what they could to cleanse themselves following a 7-2 setback to the Toronto Blue Jays by holding a team meeting.

While no one is saying what went on in the meeting, the Rangers better find a way to start winning, and do it quickly.

Oakland heads to Texas for four games with a three-game lead in the American League West. The Athletics face a Texas team that’s lost six consecutive games and is getting absolutely nothing done on offense, having scored a major-league worst 39 runs in June.

There’s no panic talk in the clubhouse, but now might be a good time to turn around a month that’s started 4-11.

“If we’re ever going to get back on track, this is the series we have to get back on track with,” said Texas manager Ron Washington, whose never seen one of his teams lose six consecutive games in Arlington. “I expect us to come out tomorrow and play good baseball. And they expect themselves to come out tomorrow and play good baseball.”

Good baseball would be the opposite of what the Rangers played in getting swept in a four-game set to Toronto. Texas, which hasn’t lost six straight since April of 2010, was outscored in the series 24-4 and had the lead at the end of just one of the 36 innings played.

On Sunday, the Rangers had nothing for right-hander Chien-Ming Wang, who hadn’t won a game in the majors in more than a year. Despite a lineup shakeup that had Jurickson Profar leading off and Ian Kinsler hitting third, Texas got shut out by Wang during his seven innings.

Once Derek Holland gave up two-run homer to J.P. Arencibia in the second inning, the Rangers were officially in a hole they could not get out of. Holland ended up allowing four runs in his six innings, but all it took was one. Once again the Rangers had their scoring chances but failed to do anything with them.

Holland (5-4) never lost confidence in his offense’s ability to bail him out, but it never happened. He didn’t help the cause.

“I was just missing up,” Holland said. “I didn’t have my best fastball. You’ve got to tip your hats, the balls were falling in. We were swinging well too. They were making some great plays on a lot of our hits. We didn’t capitalize on the big hits and they did.”

Elvis Andrus gave the Rangers just their second hit with a runner in scoring position in the series with his infield single in the ninth inning, but all that did was help Texas avoid its fifth shutout on the season. Texas went 2-for-24 in those situations in the series and is 4-for-34 during its losing streak.

Texas had eight hits but was 1 of 8 with runners in scoring position. Even when the Rangers hit the ball hard in key situations — like Nelson Cruz did on a liner with one out and runners on the corners in the fourth — Toronto third baseman Edwin Encarnacion was there to spear the ball.

The Rangers were tight-lipped about Washington’s message following the game. While the slide has included some bad baseball, the team thinks it’s close to getting things right.

“We have to stay positive, especially right now,” Andrus said. “There’s no way you can show any weakness. You have to stay strong, stay positive and find a way to win games. Right now it’s about staying positive. Tomorrow we start a great series, a great challenge, and we’ve got to get ready for that.”