Rangers need offensive turnaround in Game 5
Texas 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position in ALDS losses
ARLINGTON -- Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton has just two singles in 14 at-bats in the American League Division Series.
He missed most of September with two small fractures in his left rib cage, but said that has not been a problem."I wish I could use that as an excuse, but it's not," Hamilton said. So what is the problem? "I'll figure it out," Hamilton said. "I have 48 hours to figure it out. I will figure it out." The Rangers' entire offense has two days to figure it out after scoring just five runs over their past 22 innings in their series against the Rays. The Rangers lost two games at the Ballpark in Arlington and now face a winner-take-all Game 5 on Tuesday at Tropicana Field. "It's not frustrating," third baseman Michael Young said. "We're still having good at-bats. If we keep getting runners out there, we'll start getting them in." Batting with runners in scoring position is obviously glaring. The Rangers have just one hit in their past 12 at-bats with runners in scoring position after going 1-for-8 on Sunday. Vladimir Guerrero had an especially rough day on Sunday against Rays rookie right-hander Wade Davis. He came up with two on and one out in the first inning and grounded into a double play. He batted with the bases loaded and two out in the fifth inning and struck out. Nelson Cruz had a home run but struck out three times. Young was 1-for-4 with an infield single and is now 3-for-16 (.188) in the series. Hamilton has yet to drive in a run in four games. "There's nothing different we can do differently," Kinsler said. "We just have to go out and play hard and grind out every pitch and take our chances. We hit some balls hard, they made some nice plays. We had runners on base but we couldn't get anything going. This isn't any different than what we've been through before." This is nothing surprising or earth-shattering, but the Rangers hit .316 with runners in scoring position in the 90 games they won during the regular season and .208 in the 72 games that they lost. They were 5-for-15 in the first two games of the ALDS on the road and 1-for-11 in the two losses in Arlington. "You look at the first two games, we swung the bats well," Hamilton said. "The last couple of games we haven't. That's the way baseball is. You'd like to be hot all the time but that's not the case. We just have to find a way to get going." Rangers manager Ron Washington gave credit to the Rays' pitchers on Sunday. "I thought the kid today did a good job of mixing," Washington said. "I thought when he had to make good pitches, he did. And that's what it's all about. Good pitching stops good hitting and he did." The Rangers have 48 hours to figure out a way to change that.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.