ARLINGTON, Texas — At least the losing streak for the Texas Rangers takes a break Monday.
It doesn’t come to an end though, as the Los Angeles Angels handed Texas a 10-7 beating Sunday to extend the skid to eight games.
Texas will now have four days because of the All-Star break to try and figure out a way to work itself out what has arguably been the worst first half of play in franchise history.
The eight-game slide is the second of at least eight games already for a team that’s now lost 22 of its last 25 games. The three wins in 25 games has happened twice before for the club, once when they were the expansion Washington Senators in 1961 and also in 1972, the first year the club played in Texas. And of course, the eight-game swoon is the longest the club has ever carried into the break.
Things have to change starting Friday when the Rangers begin the second half in Toronto and they know it.
"It’s a much-needed time off for the whole team and everybody needs the four days off to clear our mind, have some fun and enjoy it with the family time and be back for the second half and throw everything we have," shortstop Elvis Andrus said. "We know we can play a lot better baseball. It’s on us. We’re the ones that have to go out there and change the way we’re playing right now."
Sunday’s scenario played out like a lot have in the last month, a stretch that’s seen the Rangers swept in five series since June 20.
Texas got behind early as the Angels took a 4-1 lead heading into the bottom of the third inning. The Rangers did give the fans that showed up for a first-pitch temperature of 98 degree a little something to cheer about in the bottom of the fourth.
Alex Rios had a two-run double and All-Star Adrian Beltre tied the game with a grounder.
But following a well-worn script, the highlights ended there as the Angels broke the tie with a single run in the fourth, two more in the fifth and one in the sixth. The Rangers did cut the lead in half with two runs in the sixth but could get no closer as the Angels scored runs in seven innings.
Sunday’s game was a fitting end to the break as Ryan Feirerabend pitched for the Rangers, making him the 50th player overall to play for Texas this year and 30th pitcher. That matches the franchise mark for pitchers used in a season and the club still 66 games remaining after the break. The 50 players used by the break is a major league record.
The Rangers scored seven runs Sunday for just the second time but the pitching didn’t hold up as Scott Baker allowed five runs in his four innings of work and a tired bullpen did nothing to shut things down as each of the four Texas relievers allowed at least one run.
Even with all the injuries a Texas staff that has the worst ERA in the American League (4.93) has to find a way to keep the offense in the game following the break.
"We have to get them on track," Texas manager Ron Washington said of his staff. "The bullpen you can see was dead. We just ended the first half and they were dead and we had to use them a lot. We have to figure out a way to have to get our starters pitchers deep in ballgames. My offense is going to be what it is."