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Embarrassing Sweep Could Determine Path

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 15: Jeff Banister #28 of the Texas Rangers looks on as the Rangers take on the Los Angeles Angels in the top of the eighth inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on April 15, 2015 in Arlington, Texas. All uniformed team members are wearing jersey number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day.

    Who would've thought the Rangers' 8-2 loss to the Angels on Friday night would've been the high-water mark of a weekend series at home against the hated AL West rival? Turns out, that's exactly what it was.

    When the Angels came to town on Friday, they were a half-game ahead of the Rangers for second place in the division. Now, they're 3 1/2 games back of the Angels and 6 1/2 games out of the division lead and the first-place Astros.

    And those losses? They were all brutal. That 8-2 was the best one, as crazy as that might seem. The Rangers were beaten 13-0 on Saturday and then responded by losing 12-6 on Sunday as the Rangers' pitching staff hit a new low.

    Unless things turn around in a hurry for the Rangers' struggling pitching staff and struggling lineup, that series sweep could've spelled the end to a hope of being buyers at the July 31 trade deadline and trying to make a push at the postseason this year.

    Things could get better as the July schedule shapes up to be a manageable one, starting with two series at home against weak NL West teams before the all-star break next week, but if it continues as is, they could be buried in terms of contending this year by the break.