Rangers search for answers to ailing offense

July 20th, 2017

BALTIMORE -- The Rangers scored a major offensive objective in the ninth inning on Wednesday night.

They scored a run on three singles. It didn't change the outcome in a 10-2 loss to the Orioles, but it was a reminder of what has been missing from their offense since the All-Star break.

The Rangers just haven't been mounting many scoring opportunities and putting any kind of pressure on the opposing pitcher. It's just like in basketball. They are letting the opposing guard bring the ball up the court without any pressure on him.

The result is a four-game losing streak after scoring just four runs in three games against the Orioles.

"We continue to believe in our offense, but it has been a challenge for us for a bit of a stretch," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "We have to find a way to string some at-bats together, get some baserunners on and get some hits. It has been a challenge for us getting multiple runners on base in the same inning."

The singles in the ninth came with Mike Napoli leading off, then hits from and . The single by Chirinos was the Rangers' first hit with runners in scoring position in three games in Baltimore.

But they only had six at-bats with runners in scoring position for the entire game, with three of them coming in the ninth. They struck out in their other three at-bats with runners in scoring position.

"Same story … we are having a hard time scoring," shortstop said. "I know we are trying and working hard, but the results aren't there yet. Another tough night offensively. We've got to turn the page and have a clean game tomorrow."

In six games since the All-Star break, the Rangers are hitting .189 with a .252 on-base percentage and a .311 slugging percentage. They've scored 13 runs on 36 hits. They have 13 walks and 41 strikeouts.

The Rangers have hit six home runs, including a solo shot by Joey Gallo in the fifth inning on Wednesday. But they have two more home runs than they do hits with runners in scoring position in the last six games, going 4-for-19 with RISP.

That's an average of just over three at-bats with RISP per game, and that's what's ailing the Rangers right now.

"We love the home run … it's instant offense," Banister said. "But it's all stringing multiple at-bats together, getting runners on base and putting pressure on the pitcher."

The Rangers began the day tied for second in the American League in home runs. They also had the fifth-lowest on-base percentage as a team. That pretty much says it all right there and has been reinforced in Baltimore.