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Recent woes begin with runners in scoring position

Recent woes begin with runners in scoring position


ARLINGTON -- Elvis Andrus admitted the Rangers' offensive struggles played a part in him getting ejected in the sixth inning of Friday's 8-0 loss to the Blue Jays. Andrus was technically ejected for arguing balls and strikes with home plate umpire Eric Cooper.

"It was more the whole deal ... the way we're playing," Andrus said. "Everything we're doing is going bad. Every time we create an opportunity or a rally, we get cut off. That's mostly why I went off. I learned my lesson."

The Rangers went into Saturday with a record of 4-9 in June, and they were also batting .216 with a .365 slugging percentage for the month. They had a .167 average with runners in scoring position, including a 2-for-14 stretch in their last four games.

"In those situations, it begins and ends with getting a good pitch to hit," hitting coach Dave Magadan said. "Those are the times when good pitchers bring out their full arsenal and start nibbling, trying to get guys to chase. Whether it's the first pitch or the fifth pitch, you've got to be ready for a good pitch to hit. If it's the first pitch, you have to be ready to hit it.

"When you see guys who consistently have good at-bats with runners in scoring position, those are guys who are focused on pitches in the strike zone and don't chase."

The Rangers went into Saturday's game batting .262, the fourth-best average in the league. Their slugging percentage of .430 was the third highest and they were second with 84 home runs, but they were ninth with 293 runs scored.

"We've got to do the little things; we can't depend on the two- or three-run home run," Magadan said. "We have to be better at situational hitting and running the bases. In a stretch like this, there are a lot of factors."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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