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Washington eyes improvement at plate with RISP

ARLINGTON -- If Rangers manager Ron Washington had one wish for his club to improve in an area during the second half of the season, he'd want the Rangers to bat 1.000 with runners in scoring position.

"It might be long, but we'll come out on top with the runs," Washington joked.

While the feat will be impossible to accomplish, the Rangers have been inconsistent in those situations all season. They have the third-lowest average in the American League at .203 (47-of-232) with runners in scoring position. They enter Thursday's finale against Seattle going 2-for-17 so far this series.

"It's been our Achilles' heel," Washington said. "That just goes to show you how much heart they have to be where were are and not really score a ton of runs."

The Rangers have scored four runs or less in six six straight games. They rank in the bottom five in the Majors in on-base percentage, batting average, slugging percentage and runs scored since June. The club has dealt with a number of injuries, yet it remains in a back-and-forth affair with the A's for first place in the AL West. The Rangers hold the seventh best record in the Majors entering Thursday's contest.

"It's an individual thing; you never know what's going through a person's mind when they're standing in that box," Washington said. "They got the physical tools, so it comes down to their thought process, and that becomes mental. It's also a situation where they want to do it too bad."

Master Tesfatsion is an associate reporter for
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