Ranger Reax: 'We're in first place'

ARLINGTON, Texas – Ron Washington won’t spend the All-Star break worrying about what’s gone wrong for the Rangers so far this month.

“We’re in first place,” Washington said after the Rangers were swept at home by the team with the worst record in the big leagues. “There’s no need for us to be sad. We’re in first place. We just have to come out of the break and hold on to it.”

That’s not to say the Rangers just shrugged off losing four straight games to the Baltimore Orioles. But they don’t consider one awful series – or a sorry first half of June – as a sign of things to come.

“We played a bad series – at home. That hurts a little bit,” Ian Kinsler said. “At the same time, we still have a lot of confidence. It’s not going to knock us down or make any of us think that we have a bad team or anything like that. We know that we have a real solid team. We’ve just got to get back on track.”

The sweep marks the third time they’ve lost at least six games this season, lowlighted by a six-game losing streak in mid-April. But they still have 50 wins at the All-Star break.

“We feel good,” Washington said. “We’ve been in a stretch like this before. We’ll bounce back. Get a few days off, get rejuvenated and we’ll be ready to go in Boston.”

**C.J. Wilson didn’t deny that he directed a few unpleasant words at home plate umpire Dan Isassogna after being pulled from the game in the fifth inning. But Wilson didn’t elaborate on that one-sided discussion, either.

“I was upset with the way I pitched. I was upset with a lot of different things,” Wilson said. “That was, what, two hours ago? Nothing I can do now. I’m a better pitcher than the results I put up today. I’m frustrated about that discrepancy.”

While Wilson might not have been pleased about the strike zone, he was more perturbed that he failed to pitch deep into the game. He didn’t make it through at least five innings for only the second time in 18 starts this season. He’s pitched at least six innings in all but five of his starts.

That didn’t happen Sunday afternoon due to Wilson’s command problems. He allowed five walks, which is the primary reason his pitch count soared to 110 after 4 2/3 innings.

**At least the Rangers haven’t lost any ground in the AL West standings lately.

As bad as the Rangers have been recently, the Angels have been worse. Since winning two of three games over the Rangers in Anaheim, the Angels are 2-8. The Rangers are 3-7 since that road trip.

“Big consolation, I guess,” Wilson said.

“The more games they lose, the better,” Kinsler said. “It’s a long season. They’re going to go through ups and downs. We’re going to go through ups and downs. All that matters is the record at the end of the season.”

**Elvis Andrus agreed with Washington’s decision to rest the All-Star shortstop Sunday.

Washington thought Andrus needed a break due to fatigue, and he got no argument from the kid.

“I don’t feel fatigued physically,” Andrus said. “I feel it more mentally.”

Andrus played the late innings, going 0-for-2 to extend his hitless streak to 14 at-bats. Although he’s headed to Anaheim for the All-Star Game, he expects to arrive in Boston to begin the second half of the season feeling refreshed.