Breaking down the Rangers vs. Rays series

WHAT WENT RIGHT

• Closer Neftali Feliz certainly wasn’t perfect in his two outings in the series but the bottom line was he got save opportunities in one-run games and converted both of them. Three of the six outs Feliz recorded came on strikeouts and his velocity seems to be coming around as he touched 97 mph in closing out the Rays Sunday.

• The batting average still isn’t there for Shin-Soo Choo (.183) but it’s trending in the right direction and he’s getting on base. Choo had hits in all four games and will return to Arlington for the series against Kansas City with a 10-game hitting streak, which is the longest for any Texas hitter. He had two doubles Sunday and his 10 extra-base hits in May lead the majors.

• Left-hander Wandy Rodriguez continues to provide a huge boost for the rotation, especially with the news that Derek Holland’s no-throw period has been extended by at least two weeks. He set a club record for consecutive batters retired and while he didn’t get the win Sunday, he gave the Rangers a chance and now has a 2.70 ERA.

WHAT WENT WRONG

• The bullpen continues to be dicey for the most part. Five of the seven relievers used in the series allowed at least one run and in Friday and Saturday’s game the bullpen gave away any chance of the Rangers coming back. Sunday was the only day in the series the Rangers didn’t give up a run.

• Second baseman Rougned Odor’s series against Tampa Bay was limited to four hitless at-bats as his playing time has gone to Adam Rosales. Odor is now batting .144 and he has the lowest qualifying average in the American League.

• It’s grading on a curve when Nick Martinez makes the what went wrong list but his pitching so far this season have raised the level of expectations. Martinez had his shorting outing of the season Friday as he lasted just 4 2/3 innings. He also allowed three earned runs Friday, matching his total for his first five starts combined.

WHAT’S NEXT

The Rangers will try and get something going at Globe Life Park when they host Kansas City and Cleveland in a seven-game homestand. While the Rangers have been solid on the road this season, they’ve been awful at home. No team in baseball has fewer wins at home than the Rangers and their .250 winning percentage at home is also the worst in baseball.

 

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