Manager Ron Washington was all business when he spoke Sunday afternoon. His answers were to the point, and he spoke clearly.
He didn't joke around about Mike Napoli scoring the winning run from first base on a single to right. He wore a surprised look on his face when asked about Michael Young getting the green light on 3-0 counts. Washington said Young doesn't want to waste at-bats. When it came to closer Neftali Feliz, whom Washington acknowledges is in a slump, the manager's mood didn't brighten. He said he was tired of answering questions about Feliz, who has blown three saves, picked up two saves and allowed a go-ahead run to score in the last week.
The Rangers took two of three from the Kansas City Royals (who are a major league worst 6-16 on the road) over the weekend in Arlington but now must head out on the road for 17 of their next 20 games. The Rangers, who have only nine wins on the road this season, start the trip with a three-game set against the Tampa Bay Rays, who are 28-24 (but only 13-14 at home) and were knocked out of the playoffs last season by the Rangers.
"We have to play better on the road," Young said. "But I don't think it comes from over-adjusting. We have to play our game and then things will start turning around in our favor. The last thing you want to do is differentiate between home games and road games. You just have to go out there and play hard. We have a talented team and we have the right approach, and we feel like things will turn out right for us on the road."
It better, because while the first-place Rangers are on the road, the second-place Los Angeles Angels -- just a game back -- play nine of the next 12 at home before embarking on a 12-game road trip.
"It's going to be big," Elvis Andrus said of the upcoming road trip. "It's a test for our offense and everybody is saying, 'What type of offense we have?' The last three games we've been hitting better and that's what we're looking for."