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Rangers' offense sputtering in September

The SportsXchange

The Rangers offense has encountered a late-season complete brownout.

No current. No power. Maybe not even a pulse.

The Rangers went 0-6 on a homestand against Pittsburgh and AL West division rival Oakland to all but concede the division.

During the homestand, the Rangers never led, matching the longest streak in club history for failing to lead a game. They also did not homer, matching the longest streak in the majors in 2013 and their longest streak since 1995.

A big part of the power outage is third baseman Adrian Beltre, who has one home run in the past three weeks.

Beltre regained the hits lead in the majors with a pair of singles Sunday to overtake Manny Machado for first, and he's at least getting on base. Beltre has three multi-hit games in his last five and hit .375 in Texas' six-game homestand before packing up for St. Petersburg.

Since Sept. 1, the Rangers have averaged 3.2 runs per game, compiled a .679 OPS and have hit .235 with runners in scoring position. Contrast that with August, when they averaged 5.9 runs per game, had a .760 OPS and hit .284 with RISP.

"We are pretty much doing the complete opposite of everything we did in August," said hitting instructor Dave Magadan. "We're not getting on base. We're not moving runners. And we're not getting hits with runners in scoring position. When you aren't scoring runs, there are a lot of things you are not doing well.

"There has been poor pitch selection," Magadan added. "We've gotten too pull conscious at times. We're swinging at the pitcher's pitch early in the count. It's a combination of a lot of things. All you can do is keep harping and preaching and saying what you believe in. What I've got working in our favor is the body of work in September. You can't keep doing it the way we have and expect results."

On Sunday, the Rangers went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position. They were 1-for-14 over the final two games of the series and hit .177 with men in scoring position in their 10 losses to the A's this season.

Among the biggest offenders lately has been first baseman Mitch Moreland, whom the Rangers finally sat down Sunday after he extended his hitless streak to 21 at-bats. Moreland has struck out 14 times in that stretch. And the truth is, his slide has been long and steady. He was hitting .288 and showing a disciplined approach when he went on the DL with a hamstring injury in early June. Since returning, he's hitting just .182.

Moreland was replaced by Jim Adduci on Sunday in the loss to Oakland. Adduci had three singles in four at-bats and is likely to get more chances as the Rangers gasp for some type of offense.

"We're doing everything we can do," Washington said. "We're working every day. Once those guys step in the box, they're on their own."
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