A week after taking two of three from Texas in Arlington, the Los Angeles Dodgers bought the team at least another day on top of the American League West with a 5-3 win over the Angels Sunday night in Anaheim.
The lead, which has been slowly and steadily deflating over the past weeks, is down to ½ game.
The Dodgers win may have been the brightest spot of the weekend for Texas, who were swept in heartbreaking fashion by the Giants in San Francisco, spoiling two great starts from Derek Holland and Kevin Millwood respectively.
Texas has recorded only six hits over their last twenty innings as a team; in the past week, they are dead last in hitting in the major leagues with a collective .209 batting average.
Uncharacteristic defensive gaffes harangued Texas’ efforts on Sunday as well, with missed plays from Nelson Cruz and Elvis Andrus, and a throwing error in the third by Andrus as he attempted to turn a double play.
It was Andrus’ 10th error of 2009.
Texas has now lost six of their last eight games.
The Angels were seemingly headed in the opposite direction until they ran into the Dodgers this weekend.
The Dodgers took two of three from the Angels beginning on Saturday, putting an end to a seven game winning streak that the Halos carried into the series.
Texas is left with a curious juxtaposition as Los Angeles nips at their heels in the west standings; namely, they must find a remedy for the offense, as pitching continues to flourish.
Over the team’s last two series, Texas’ staff has posted a 3.29 ERA, good enough for ninth in that span in the majors.
However, the run production that has been taken for granted in the past has dried up of late. Texas has scored just 21 runs over the past week, the second lowest total in the league.
And as good as the Rangers’ pitching has remained over what has been a categorically rough stretch, the offense has been just bad enough to ensure the slide in the standings.
Texas will head to Arizona to face the struggling Diamondbacks on Tuesday, staked to a half game lead in the West.