Rangers hopeful sweep of Rays sparks long-awaited turnaround

July 7th, 2024

ARLINGTON -- The clock is ticking and time is running out for the Rangers to truly turn this around.

The reigning World Series champions have been hovering near .500 since May 19. They haven’t been over .500 since the day before that. A lot needs to happen for the Rangers’ repeat bid to go full throttle.

“Winning games would help,” Andrew Heaney said on Saturday. “I mean, yeah, we need to win more games. I don't think anybody is unaware of that. Winning one out of three in the series, this isn't gonna cut it, obviously. Even two out of three right now feels like we're barely climbing out, so we know we need to win games. I think we're starting to turn the corner a little bit. We're just going to keep it going. I think we're all pretty aware of where we're at and where we need to be, so we need to win more games, for sure.”

Mission accomplished, at least for one weekend. The Rangers beat the Rays, 13-2, on Sunday at Globe Life Field, finishing off their second sweep of the season and just their third winning homestand.

“We used to have a lot of these games,” said manager Bruce Bochy. “It was just well-played. A lot of big hits. It just got contagious. It’s good to see them break out and get some runs. … Throughout the lineup, somebody did something to help us.”

The Rangers recorded a season-high 19 hits, while scoring 13 runs, the most since May 17 at Oakland (15 runs). It was the most runs Texas has scored at home since Sept. 20, 2023 against the Red Sox (15). The 11-run win also marked the Rangers’ largest margin of victory of the season and most decisive win since a 12-0 win in Anaheim on Aug. 14, 2023.

For the first time in weeks, it felt like things had gone the Rangers’ way.

“You make your luck too, that's part of it,” Bochy said. “But it's good to see the ball bounce our way too. We did have some hits that fell in today. You'd like to think that part is going to even help. You still have to go there and pitch well and get hits with runners in scoring position or do some slugging. We did that here. So this is more who we are. Now we have to continue this as we head to Anaheim.”

One weekend isn’t enough to fully turn around the campaign, but it could be a turning point for Texas going into the final road trip of the first half. , who homered in the win, noted how big this final road trip is, while also pointing out that the players can’t think about the fast approaching Trade Deadline.

“I don’t think it’s too late [for a turnaround],” said , who twirled seven innings of two-run ball in Sunday’s win.

The Rangers will finish off the first half with series at Anaheim and Houston in an attempt to get within striking distance of a postseason spot before the All-Star break. Nothing needs to be said out loud. But they all know how vital it will be to close out this part of the season strong.

“I think it's an important stretch that we play good baseball,” Bochy said. “We know where we're at. We have to win ballgames. For us to get to where we want to go, sure we have to play well up until the break and then after that obviously. That's our focus right now, trying to finish strong here.”