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The Texas Rangers are looking for consistency and took a step in the right direction

The Texas Rangers have been looking for consistency in a injury-filled season.

With a subpar team batting average of .241, the Rangers’ offense has struggled to produce enough run support for a starting pitching unit that has allowed three runs or fewer in 21 consecutive games.

The absence of four-time all-star Corey Seager, who is day to day with hamstring tightness, left a hole in the lineup and presented a challenge. Rangers manager Bruce Bochy, ahead of Sunday’s series finale, said he wants his team to “just keep battling” despite a lack of offensive production.

“We had to go through [slumps] last year,” Bochy said. “They bounce back. They’ve done it. They can do it again.”

The Rangers offense answered the call and took a step in the right direction on Sunday at Globe Life Field to secure an 7-2 victory and avoid a series sweep.

The unit was aggressive from the start, scoring five runs in the first two innings. The urgency of the scoring spree was highlighted by Adolis García’s delayed steal of home.

Bochy said aggressive, smart base running is one of the team’s goals. With four stolen bases in the first two innings, the Rangers’ aggressiveness paid off.

“We’ve talked about that,” Bochy said. “We need to be a little bit more aggressive there when we can do it. We don’t want to get reckless. But at the same time, if we think its there we want these guys to go for it.”

Even with the offensive struggles, the Rangers can focus on other controllable aspects of the game. Taking advantage of base running opportunities creates extra scoring chances that are valuable if base hits are hard to come by.

Although the Rangers added two runs the rest of the game, the early aggression set the tone and paved the way. It could do the same in future games.

“When your offense is not quite what you’re used to and you’re not scoring a lot of runs, well there are other ways to score runs,” Bochy said. “Sometimes you have to push it a little bit. And that’s why we’ve been pushing.”

The combination of increased aggression and improvements within the lineup could be a formula for success. Bochy, ahead of the series finale, said there was a simple solution to recent struggles and wanted to see better swings and hits in big situations.

Wyatt Langford certainly stepped up in that regard. He helped set the tone with a two-RBI single in the first inning. The two-hit performance is a promising one for Langford, who has posted an .224 batting average since the start of May.

Bochy called Langford’s single to center field “huge” and said he “picked us up in a big way.” He said Langford has been swinging the bat well since his return from injury and added that he looks more comfortable at the plate.

The eventual addition of Seager into the lineup will provide a cornerstone for the offense to bounce back and catch up to an already productive starting pitching staff that is awaiting the returns of Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom.

Nathan Eovaldi, who has allowed two earned runs or less in his last five starts, has been a staple in the rotation when healthy. In the series finale against the Giants, he allowed five hits and two earned runs. He said the early run support allowed him to switch to “attack mode.”

“We really try to limit any lead off walks, lead off hits,” Eovaldi said. “It’s really just go right after them and try to get as fast of outs as possible to get those guys back in the dugout and let them keep that pressure on their pitcher.”

Texas Rangers pitcher Nathan Eovaldi (17) throws during the first inning against the San Francisco Giants at Globe Life Field.
Texas Rangers pitcher Nathan Eovaldi (17) throws during the first inning against the San Francisco Giants at Globe Life Field.

The Rangers have work to do to catch up to the Seattle Mariners, the first place team in the American League West with an 4.5 game lead. Next up is a road series against the NL West leading Los Angeles Dodgers. Game one of the three-game series will start at 7:10 p.m. CT on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium.

“We’ve got a tough road trip here,” Bochy said. “We need to get back to who we are and we’ve talked about this many times. It’s going to be up to us to find some ways to get runs on the board.”