Washington, club recharged for second half

Washington, club recharged for second half

BOSTON -- The Rangers' second half began with an extra one-hour workout early Thursday afternoon at Fenway Park and a short meeting with manager Ron Washington.

"We just got back out on the field and got recharged on fundamentals," Washington said. "Pitchers fielding practice, cutoffs and relays, outfielders throwing to the bags, infielders turning double plays. Guys were sharp. They were into it. We got it done and got off the field. Those are the things to do when the second half starts, go through the fundamentals."

As far what he said to the players, Washington said it was the basic message.

"Be more consistent," Washington said. "Nothing special. We did good the first half, if we can be more consistent, we can do the same good job in the second half as we did the first half. If we play our brand of baseball, I'll take our chances."

The Rangers enter the second half with a 4 1/2-game lead over Anaheim, a 7 1/2-game lead over the Athletics and a 15-game lead over the Mariners in the American League West.

"We're going to have to play," Washington said. "Anaheim is not going anywhere and Oakland has young pitching. They're going to be around. We've got to play. Oakland, Anaheim and us, we better play baseball."

The Rangers also play 42 of their next 68 games on the road. Their 38 road games to this point are the fewest. The Rangers have won 11 of 15 on the road after starting out 8-15. They were 8-1 on a nine-game Interleague trip before losing two of three to the Angels in Anaheim on their last road trip. The Rangers were 39-42 on the road in each of the past two seasons.

"I can look back at games on the road and look at how many we had won and blew late even though we had the right people on the mound," Washington said. "I've always said we've got to learn how to close games down and we have the right people to close games down. Hopefully things will fall into place."