ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 25: Elvis Andrus #1 of the Texas Rangers hits a single in the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on July 25, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images)
What could possibly cure the woes of an ill-hitting team coming off a series loss in which they totaled four runs in three games, including a 4-0 extra-inning loss? Well, the answer is now pretty clear after the Texas Rangers pounded out 14 hits and scored 12 runs in Monday's rout of the lowly Houston Astros.
The Rangers improved their season mark to 15-2 against the Astros — 13 games over .500. To put that in perspective, the Rangers are 14 games over .500 on the entire season, so that tells you what kind of lock it's been for the Rangers against the Astros this season.
Four players had multiple hits for the Rangers, and Alex Rios hit for the cycle by the time the sixth inning was complete. He was joined by Ian Kinsler, Elvis Andrus and A.J. Pierzynski as players with multiple hits and several starters were lifted late in the game when the score was way out of hand.
"It was huge," shortstop Elvis Andrus told ESPNDallas.com . "As a hitter, you're looking for a game to click. We needed to get the momentum going. We had quality at-bats today, and hopefully we carry it over for the week."
The Rangers need that without question. They can't afford to drop a game to Houston, and at this point, they shouldn't. Then the red-hot Angels come to town with a definite desire to spoil the hated Rangers' season, and the Rangers likely need to take three of four from the Halos to give themselves a good shot at playing October baseball.
Maybe the momentum gained from playing against an awful Astros club can propel them into a bit of a hitting tear that can carry over. We'll know soon enough.