Ron Washington: No excuses

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington isn't interested in hearing excuses about playing in oppressive heat or battling through fatigue.

He knows his players are hot and tired. He also knows every player in Major League Baseball is hot and tired during these steamy dog days of August.

"I haven't played a game, I'm tired," Washington said. "But my mental state is stronger than my physical state. And once your physical state overtakes your mental state, disaster, man. Just that simple."

The Rangers had to sleep on a third consecutive loss Thursday night to the Boston Red Sox. Boston outscored Texas 30-7 in the final three games of the series as the Rangers saw their recent seven-game lead in the American League West slip to two games.

And now here come the hard-charging Los Angeles Angels, who are riding a six-game winning streak and should be well-rested after having two off days this week. For the Rangers, the important weekend series concludes a stretch of 17 consecutive games, 10 of which were played on the road in three cities. After starting the stretch 6-1, the Rangers have gone 2-5.

Starting pitching and the offense have both wilted in that time, with the rotation producing two quality starts over the past eight games and the offense sputtering with a .197 team batting average.

Even team president and CEO Nolan Ryan suggested the starting pitchers appeared fatigued, but expected them to bounce back.

Washington, though, isn't allowing tired talk to permeate his clubhouse.

"Being tired," Washington said, "I don't see why that's even in the discussion."

Jeff Caplan is a reporter and columnist for ESPNDallas.com.