Although the Texas Rangers snapped a losing streak and ended one of the longest scoring droughts in franchise history in their last game, they are going to need much more offensively to have any chance at the postseason.
Texas tries for its fifth series win over the AL West-leading Los Angeles Angels in the finale of a three-game set Sunday.
The Rangers (81-66) ended a five-game skid Saturday night, beating the Angels (88-60) 3-2. Texas had scored one total run during the losing streak and had gone 25 innings without scoring before Chris Davis(notes) drove in a run in the third inning.
“It was good to have one of those go our way and build some momentum for the rest of the game,” Davis said.
Elvis Andrus(notes) added another RBI in the fifth and Hank Blalock(notes) homered in the sixth. Blalock was making his first start since Sept. 6 after manager Ron Washington said the lineup needed a veteran presence, especially with Michael Young(notes) (hamstring) still unavailable. Blalock was 3 for 22 with six strikeouts and one RBI in his previous eight games.
Despite the win, the Rangers still have concerns about their offense, which has scored more than three runs just once in the last eight games. Texas is hitting .204 in the last eight contests and Ian Kinsler(notes), the team leader with 79 RBIs, is hitting .156 with no RBIs over his last nine.
“The streak we’ve been on, not scoring runs, has been really hard on us,” Blalock said. “We’ve got to stay positive and grind through it.”
The Rangers need their bats to start heating up if they are to make a miracle run at the playoffs. Texas is 6 1/2 games behind the Angels in the West and seven behind Boston for the wild card. The Rangers, who are 10-4 against Los Angeles this year, have five more games against the Angels, losers of four of six.
Los Angeles is dealing with its own offensive issues, scoring 20 runs over the last six games despite Torii Hunter(notes) batting .348 over that stretch and Vladimir Guerrero(notes) going 6 for 19 in five of those contests.
Lackey is 10-12 with a 5.82 ERA against the Rangers, including 0-2 with a 7.15 ERA in three starts this season.
The right-hander gave up three runs and struck out six in 7 2-3 innings of a 4-1 loss at Boston on Tuesday. The Angels had won Lackey’s previous three starts, with the right-hander recording two victories in that stretch.
Holland, who is looking to snap a four-game losing streak, pitched a three-hitter in that win over the Angels - his first start against them after two relief appearances.
The rookie left-hander, though, has a 13.25 ERA in the last four games. He gave up five runs in six innings of a 5-0 loss to Seattle last Sunday.
Holland has allowed 27 runs over 18 1-3 innings in his last four starts, yielding five home runs.