Rangers’ paltry bats remain a mystery

Posted Friday, Jul. 26, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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The offensive struggles remained the No. 1 talking point for the Texas Rangers on Friday afternoon.

Inconsistent is how manager Ron Washington described it. Adrian Beltre said the entire team was in a funk, and shouldered his fair share of responsibility for it.

Entering Friday’s game, the Rangers had averaged 3.56 runs per game since June 1, third-fewest in the majors. Over their last 12 games, the Rangers were batting .237 and, more telling, had a .165 average with runners in scoring position over that stretch.

Beltre has been the most consistent offensive threat for the Rangers, but he said he was part of the problem. He entered the game batting .217 with RISP for the season, including 3 for his last 20 (.150).

“It’s just a funk the whole team is going through, but I’m the main guy and I’ve been horrible on that,” Beltre said candidly. “When the cleanup guy is not doing his job right, the offense is not going to be how we want it to.

“I feel great and am just trying to find a way to get back to where I was. Who knows, maybe today is the day?”

Washington said he has sensed that the team’s hitting funk was on the verge of ending. But they haven’t been getting the timely extra-base hit or been able to manufacture runs.

“You think one day we’re about to come out of it and we don’t,” Washington said. “All we can do is keep grinding and keep working and hopefully here soon we find our way.”

Shuffle at No. 2

Ron Washington originally had Elvis Andrus batting second Friday, but he didn’t want three left-handers bunched together at the bottom of the order. That’s why he decided to push Engel Beltre into the No. 2 spot, the eighth player to fill that role this season.

Beltre has impressed since joining the big-league team on June 23. He has played sparingly but had a .316 average going into Friday.

“I’m feeling great and every opportunity they give me, I’m trying to do the little things to help the team win,” Beltre said. “I try to get something going on every time I get on base.”

Berkman stays back

Lance Berkman, on the disabled list with left hip inflammation, didn’t make the trip with the team. He stayed in Texas to continue to rehab at Rangers team physician Keith Meister’s clinic.

Ron Washington didn’t know Berkman’s exact schedule, but said he didn’t think Berkman would participate in baseball activities over the weekend.

Berkman, 37, has been sidelined since July 7 and was batting .176 over his last 20 games.

Briefly

• Saturday’s starter, Yu Darvish, on whether pitching can carry the Rangers to the playoffs: “Although the offense has really struggled, I know they can hit well. It really depends on the day, but as a team I feel like we’re going to go to the playoffs.”

• The Rangers will hold an open tryout for prospective players on Aug. 20 at Dell Diamond in Round Rock. Non-drafted, non-contracted individuals between the ages of 16 and 25 are eligible to participate. All individuals should pre-register by filling out a registration form at the Express’ official website.

• Ian Kinsler has been chosen as the Rangers’ candidate for the 2013 Branch Rickey Award. Fans can vote through Facebook by visiting the award’s website, branchrickeyaward.org. Voting ends Aug. 11.

Drew Davison, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @drewdavison

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