Rangers are undefeated at .500 to keep World Series champs from a losing record with Bochy

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The reigning World Series champion Texas Rangers are undefeated this season when they have a .500 record.

That means they still haven’t had a losing record with Bruce Bochy as their manager. On the other hand, the Rangers haven’t gotten any real momentum going nearly one-third of the way into his second season with them.

Texas went into an off day Monday at 24-24, exactly .500 for the ninth time already this season. Every time in that situation so far, the Rangers have won their next game.

“I didn’t even think about that, and I don’t know if they know what our record is,” Bochy said about his players. “But it says a lot when you go through some tough times and you find a way to win the games that you need to win.”

When asked if he knew the team’s record, Bochy said not exactly, other than they were over .500.

That was before a 4-1 loss Sunday to the last-place Los Angeles Angels that wrapped up a 2-4 homestand when both wins kept Texas from slipping to a losing record.

“You just try and win each and every game. I think it’s just worked out that we’re winning those .500 games, to be honest,” said right-hander Michael Lorenzen, who allowed two runs over 6 1/3 innings in that finale against the Angels. “Baseball is kind of a weird game with stats and stuff, but that’s not kind of what we’re thinking.”

Texas plays nine of its next 11 games on the road, beginning Tuesday night in the opener of a three-game interleague series at Philadelphia (34-14), which has the best record in the majors.

“We don’t feel pressure, not this team with what we’ve been through over the last year,” Bochy said. “We’re not playing our best baseball right now, but, they’ve been resilient for over a year now, and they’ve shown it this year with all of that we’ve gone through.”

The Rangers were still in second place in the AL West and 1½ games behind Seattle, matching their largest deficit of the season — their biggest division lead was also 1½ games. The only time they were .500 in Bochy’s first season was at 4-4, and the first time this year was at 8-8.

They have lost seven of nine games, scoring a total of 14 runs in those losses, since being a season-high five games over .500 (at 22-17) after a wild 12-11 win May 8 at Oakland in the second game of a scheduled doubleheader.

Their only run in the finale against Los Angeles came on a homer by Corey Seager, the World Series MVP who seems to be getting on track after a slow start this season. He missed most of spring training after surgery in January to repair a sports hernia.

“We’re missing some slug,” Bochy said. “We’re just not slugging like we normally do and that’s why we’re sitting on one run or two runs for the most part here the last nine or 10 days. … It goes in streaks.”

Texas will likely be without All-Star third baseman Josh Jung for another six weeks as he rehabs from a right wrist fracture after getting hit by a pitch in the fourth game of the season. First baseman Nathaniel Lowe missed the first 21 games of the season with a right oblique strain. Rookie outfielder Evan Carter just started for the first time in 10 games after dealing with lower back stiffness, and is hitting .205 with five homers after an impressive MLB debut late last season that had him hitting third in playoff games.

“I feel like this team’s just cracking the surface. We saw how good we were last year and what we can be,” All-Star catcher Jonah Heim said. “I think it’s just one at-bat here, one at-bat there and guys will get locked in and we’ll start rolling.”


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