Slumps have been of little issue to Rangers

Slumps have been of little issue to Rangers

MINNEAPOLIS -- Prolonged slumps have not manifested for the Rangers in the first month of the season, not even ones lasting more than a day.

Owners of the second-best record in the Major Leagues, the Rangers were the only team to have not lost back-to-back games entering Sunday's series finale. That streak of resiliency has pushed them out to a blistering start and cemented them atop the American League West standings.

Texas, however, was tripped up abruptly Saturday in the third game of the four-game set with the Twins. Minnesota bypassed a solid start by Texas left-hander Derek Holland to take advantage of the Rangers' suddenly stagnant bats, subduing its opponent in a 7-2 rout. It was just the second loss in nine games for Texas.

But with a pitching staff that owns the best ERA in the American League (2.92), the Rangers have had the depth to not let periodic drops in offensive production derail them early in the year.

"We've got a lot of ways to get [wins]," right fielder Nelson Cruz said. "We don't need to score that many runs. It's been like that all year. When we need pitching, the pitching's been there. When we need offense, the offense has been there. It shows how deep we are as a team."

If the first 24 games are any indication, Texas is proving to be a difficult team to bet against, even after a game manager Ron Washington called the "first real bad game we've had."

Nate Sandell is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.