The road trip is over, and so is the stretch of 20 games in 20 days for the Texas Rangers.
Maybe they could sense their first day off in three weeks, blazing through the first eight innings before putting together three straight two-out walks in the ninth.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa popped out with the bases loaded to end the game.
The beat guys seemed to be in the time-to-go mode. The daily pregame talk with manager Jeff Bansiter lasted about seven minutes, and the first two were spent talking about travel plans to get home.
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Get away indeed.
Here's some Rangers Reaction to a 3-1 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.
1. Give Banister a gold star for optimism after seeing his team manage only one run on another frustrating day when a starter gives the team a chance to win. Doug Fister did that (again) by allowing three runs in six innings.
Within the five runs in four games has been improvement, Banister said. The approach of the young hitters has been solid. The contact rate? Well, it'll get there at some point.
Until it does get there consistently, the Rangers will be mired in funks like the one they endured to end their seven-game road trip. The highest of highs will be followed by the lowest of lows.
Chalk it up to growing pains.
"I like where our guys are at," Banister said. "I like the fact that they're letting the ball travel and are looking for a pitch to hit. I still like when they're aggressive early. I think the walks these guys are getting are speaking for themselves.
"I love how they're going about it."
Banister is right about the walks. The Rangers were second in the American League in May with 102 walks, though one-fifth of them (21) came from veteran Shin-Soo Choo. But Joey Gallo has seen an uptick in his walks, and Kiner-Falefa has been one of the leaders among AL rookies.
The hits are missing, especially with runners in scoring position (MLB-worst .206 average), and the strikeouts continue to pile up (MLB-worst 603). But it's not because of a lack of approach, the manager said.
"These guys are good hitters," Banister said. "They're going to continue to get better. The contact ratio will increase. Any time that you're getting the walks, you're not chasing ... I think we're moving in the right direction."
Maybe give Banister two gold stars, one for optimism and one for patience.
2. Joey Gallo found himself on the bench for the third time in the past 10 games, and for the third time it was against a left-handed starter.
The lefty-hitting slugger has only a .164 average against lefties. It wouldn't be a stretch to believe that Banister has determined that Gallo should be in a platoon role.
That's not the case, though. Gallo's seat on the bench Sunday was the result of the Rangers shuffling things around to accommodate a day at designated hitter for Adrian Beltre.
Banister wasn't going to sit Shin-Soo Choo or Nomar Mazara, so Gallo drew the short straw.
"With Joey, none of it has been performance-based for me," Banister said.
In addition to the Beltre-inspired shuffling, Gallo received the day because Banister feels a need to keep him fresh. Gallo is large, 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds, and puts a lot of punishment on that frame while patrolling left field.
It's not just left field. It's on the bases, too.
"Joey plays hard," Banister said. "I don't think there's one ground ball that he hasn't run hard."
Gallo said that he feels fine physically and at the plate. He likes the way hit on the road trip. He entered Sunday batting .278 in five games and had drawn five walks. He sees the walks as an indication of his health at the plate.
"I'm happy with the road trip overall," Gallo said. "I was feeling good, but I wasn't getting any results. In Seattle I thought I had a good series."
The Rangers have three off days coming over the next 11 days after not having one since May 14. Teams are going to throw a lot of lefties and lefty relievers at the Rangers just by the way their roster is constructed.
Gallo will be in there for them, depending on Beltre's progress. He's not a platoon player, Banister said.
3. It was nice, for a day at least, to get to write about baseball. No significant injury news needed be covered. No benches cleared for any reason. No one had anything salty to say.
It's not going to last.
The MLB First-Year Player Draft starts Monday night, with the Rangers drafting 15th and 55th overall. If their draft history is any indication, expect them to draft a prep phenom.
The Rangers must decide Wednesday what to do with right-hander Tim Lincecum. There are three possibilities: Activate him and put him on the roster, asked him to extend his rehab assignment, or release him from his $1 million contract.
A million isn't much these days, but it seems like the Rangers would at least give him a look. He's been very cooperative with them as he works his way back, and might feel some extra juice facing MLB hitters. The question is, who's job would he take? The bullpen has been pitching well the past 10 games.
Elvis Andrus expects to head on a rehab assignment next weekend. He said that he will meet with Dr. Keith Meister on Tuesday for one last checkup on his broken right arm. If cleared, Andrus plans to begin taking batting practice and to join either Double A Frisco or Triple A Round Rock by Friday. He could be activated June 12.
There's always something with this team.