Extra Bases: Strikeouts hinder Texas attack

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers hitters in the final two games of their series with the Boston Red Sox struck out a dismal 24 times, an average of 1.3 per inning.

More alarming, perhaps, is the 10 called third strikes the Rangers watched in those two games.

Shin-Soo Choo, who struck out six times in the two games, was called out three times. Alex Rios twice looked at strike three. Leonys Martin, Adrian Beltre, Michael Choice, Mitch Moreland and J.P. Arencibia had one each.

Texas was limited to five runs in the final two games of the series, losing 8-3 on Saturday and 5-2 on Sunday.

The fact that the Rangers faced two excellent strikeout artists in Jon Lester and John Lackey has to be taken into account. Lester, who came in with 58 strikeouts in 48.2 innings, struck out eight in seven innings on Saturday. Lackey fanned nine in seven innings on Sunday. He entered the game with 43 strikeouts in 46 innings.

The Red Sox’s bullpen chipped in with seven strikeouts in four innings of work.

The Rangers, now back at the .500 mark with a 19-19 record, will try to reverse the trend when they open a short, three-game road trip at the Houston Astros at 7:10 p.m. CT tonight.