Extra bases: Rangers get deserved day off

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – The Texas Rangers did far more crediting of the Minnesota Twins pitching than they did their own fatigue after losing back-to-back games for the first time this season.

That said, they’re looking forward to their off day Monday.

Texas had just one day off since April 4, and 14 of their last 17 games have come on the road.

“You always look forward to off days,” catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. “They certainly are precious when you play this many games.”

The Rangers did have a brief three-game respite in Arlington against Seattle from April 19 through 21, but it still was part of what’s been a hectic travel schedule.

After finishing a six-game homestand on April 10, Texas went to Seattle for four games before an off day, then to Chicago for three against the Cubs, then back home for the three against the Mariners, then to Los Angeles for three against the Angels, and finally to Minnesota for it’s just-completed four-game stretch.

As an added bonus, Wednesday’s game against Los Angeles was an evening contest, meaning the Rangers arrived just before 7 a.m. on Thursday for the series with the Twins, which started Thursday night.

“The off day is definitely needed right now,” manager Ron Washington said. “The stretch is what it is. It’s the schedule and you play the schedule. It’s the big leagues, so we can’t be complaining about the schedule.”

Monday is one of two book-end off days sandwiching three-game series against the Sox – first White, then Red. In all it means eight consecutive days at home for Texas to recharge before an eight-game, three-city road trip.

“It seems like we haven’t been home in forever with the way the schedule is set up,” Pierzynski said. “We were home 3 days and gone a month it seems like. It’ll be nice to get home, get an off day at home and relax, get away from baseball for a day. Just get back to hopefully a little bit of normalcy and come back ready to go on Tuesday.”

Now for a few more Rangers notes:

1. Darvish follows lose again: Yu Darvish will pitch for the fifth time in six starts following a Rangers' loss. He is 4-0 in that situation this season and 11-3 for his career.

2. Kinsler's next steal: Second baseman Ian Kinsler didn't steal a base Sunday, but his next one will be historical. His next stolen base with give him 161 for his career, tying him with Bump Wills for the all-time franchise record.

3. One streak over: The Rangers streak without consecutive losses ended this weekend in the Twin Cities. They still have either won or split every series so far this season. They've won five series and split three.