Rangers can't explain AL East struggles

Rangers can't explain AL East struggles

TORONTO -- Stats don't lie, but sometimes there is no way to explain them.

The Rangers have struggled all season against the American League East, posting a disappointing 14-24 mark.

Albeit it's a tough division, boasting the two top records in Major League Baseball entering Tuesday, with the Yankees at 86-52 and the Rays at 83-54. Manager Ron Washington said it has been the non-contenders who have given them the most trouble.

The Rangers were a combined 5-11 against fourth-place Toronto (71-66) and fifth-place Baltimore (52-86) entering Tuesday's game.

"Well, in the case of Toronto, we have to keep them in the ballpark," Washington said. "You don't keep them in the ballpark, you don't have a chance. The case in New York, I think we played better against them the [second] time we saw them than the first time we went there -- we didn't play good baseball. Boston, I think we've held our own against Boston. Tampa Bay, we beat them in Texas and they beat us in Tampa.

"Baltimore, this year they've just had our number. They came into Texas and took four, and we went in there and split. Other than that, we just have to keep Toronto in the ballpark."

Despite dropping four straight games, the Rangers maintained a sizable seven-game lead Tuesday over Oakland atop the AL West.