Offense struggles in Rangers loss

ARLINGTON, Texas-- After showing flashes of resurgence in recent games, the Texas Rangers' bats fell mostly silent Thursday night in their 11-3 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Only three Rangers batters had hits and the Rangers struck out seven times. It was a frustrating way to end a series that Texas had mostly dominated.

"We've just got to stick to our approaches," said Mike Napoli, after his 0-for-3 night. "We won the series. You can only worry about one day at a time. We're going to worry about tomorrow."

Ian Kinsler's sixth inning ejection by home plate umpire Eric Cooper epitomized the Rangers' frustration. Kinsler was tossed from the game when he argued a called third strike. He declined to comment on the ejection.

In the first inning, it appeared that the Rangers offense would be just fine. Elvis Andrus hit a one-out double and scored on a single from Adrian Beltre to put the Rangers up 1-0. But in the five innings that followed, Andrus was the only Ranger who could muster a hit.

Adrian Beltre started a surge in the seventh inning, hitting a leadoff double, and scored on a home run by David Murphy. But the two-run rally was hardly more than a whimper from a team that was already beaten.

The home run was Murphy's second in three days, but Murphy was not interested in patting himself on the back.

"I had one good swing," Murphy said. "It didn't make much difference in the ball game, but I guess you take the positive of it and try to just keep working hard."

None of the Rangers hitters wanted to dwell on Thursday's performance. Rather, they were interested in looking forward and focusing on the positives.

"We've won a few series in a row," Murphy said. "We didn't perform like we were capable of tonight, but we won the series, so no big deal."

"Turn the page and get ready for tomorrow," Andrus said. "It's a long season."

Friday, the Rangers begin their final three-game series with the Houston Astros this season. It's a chance to wrap up the coveted Silver Boot trophy and get the offense back on track. Both of which would be good confidence builders for a team that is still trying to fight its way out of a slump, despite winning two consecutive series.