Rolling Rangers have room to improve

SAN DIEGO – The Texas Rangers have been playing winning baseball, but they say it could be better.

The Rangers won their sixth in a row with Wednesday’s 4-2 victory over the San Diego Padres and hold a five-game lead in the American League West.

“We’re a good team,” second baseman Ian Kinsler said after the Rangers' second consecutive series sweep. “We have a lot of really good players. We have a lot of depth. Right now, we’re kind of banged up.

"So a lot of guys are getting opportunities to play, and they’re doing well. As long as our pitching keeps us in games like Yu (Darvish) did today, we’re going to have a chance to win.”

The Rangers (43-27) have remained afloat despite injuries. They have four pitchers – including starters Neftali Feliz and Derek Holland – on the disabled list. And first baseman Mitch Moreland is expected to go on the DL with a strained hamstring.

The Rangers went 4-0 while Josh Hamilton was out of the starting lineup with an intestinal virus.

Kinsler pointed out how Justin Grimm came up from Double-A and won his major league debut Saturday.

“It shows the depth, not just of our team, but also our whole system,”

Kinsler said. “We have guys that are ready and guys who want to play.”

Pitching has been crucial. Rangers starting pitchers have posted a

2.03 ERA in the last 12 games. During that span, the Rangers have outscored opponents 61-31. The Rangers begin a 10-game homestand Friday against the Colorado Rockies with Roy Oswalt making his debut for Texas.

“We’re playing good baseball. We’re not playing our best,” manager Ron Washington said. “But, believe me, it can get better.”

Richard Durrett has more on the Rangers' hot streak here.