KANSAS CITY -- The Rangers entered Tuesday's game against the Royals with a record of 80-54 that matched the best mark in club history after 134 games. The 1999 team was also at 80-54 while the Rangers were 75-59 at this point in each of the past two seasons. Manager Ron Washington still said this season has been much tougher for his club than the past two, when they ended up in the World Series. "If everybody had played up to their potential, we'd be sitting here with our feet up waiting for the season to end," Washington said. "Each year is different and this year we've really had to fight for it. These guys have had to really grind and they're doing it. Everybody wants to be better, but you have to deal with reality and the reality is we're still four games up [over Oakland in the American League West] and we're still 26 games over .500."
Washington said the two things that have made this a tough season are the injuries to the pitching staff and the offensive slump that the Rangers went through for part of June and just about all of July. "That bad spell in July, we never went through that last year," Washington said. "If we had played half good and half bad in July, we'd be sitting here with our feet up waiting for the season to end. When our pitching staff started to get decimated by injuries, everybody thought we would fall apart. But we didn't and now we're back up."