Homer-hungry Rangers grounded in Seattle

Texas had homered in first nine games before Friday

April 15th, 2017

SEATTLE -- Maybe it was the cold Pacific Northwest air, the famed marine layer near Puget Sound that hitters dread this time of year. Maybe it was bound to happen sooner or later.

Either way, the Rangers did not hit a single home run on Friday night, and it was the first time the team hadn't gone deep in its first 10 games.

The Rangers still entered Saturday's game with the most homers (18) in the American League, and they're well-spread across the lineup, too. They did't get one Saturday, either, in a 5-0 loss to Seattle.

Entering Saturday's game against the Mariners, leadoff man , No. 2 hitter and three-hole batter had three homers apiece. Slugger Mike Napoli had two, second baseman had three, catcher had one and the eight-hitter, third baseman Joey Gallo, had two.

"We've taken advantage of hitting some mistakes," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "I don't see us going down out of the zone and driving pitchers' pitches out of the strike zone.

"When it's a sustained attack up and down the lineup, it proves out over and over daily in a regular season type atmosphere that it plays best. There are nights when you're not going to hit home runs and you've got to be able to score runs in other ways."

Dyson ready to go: Banister was asked to reflect on the time last year when he sat down with then-closer and told him that he would no longer be filling the role. That's when Sam Dyson took over the ninth inning for Texas.

These days, Banister is being asked if he's had a similar chat with Dyson.

"We haven't had … that conversation," Banister said Saturday. "I'd like to get him back out there."

Banister pointed out that Dyson and Tony Barnette were both warming up in the bullpen late in Friday's 2-1 loss to the Mariners. And even though Dyson is struggling, with two blown saves and two losses in four games to begin 2017 plus a 33.00 ERA and .579 batting average against, Banister didn't indicate there would be any immediate change in status quo.

Dyson was made unavailable for a few nights after throwing 58 pitches over a six-day span and hasn't pitched since April 11 in Anaheim. Since then, the right-hander has been working with pitching coach Doug Brocail on ironing out his mechanics.

Banister said the team will "allow the game to play out" to determine where to insert Dyson in his next appearance, but that he won't hesitate to use him again as soon as he can.

"I'm not bothered about where we could bring him in in a game," Banister said. "He's one of the guys out there that needs to throw."