Rangers put June-July swoon behind them

ARLINGTON, Texas -- There's a different energy about this Texas Rangers team the past few weeks.

They've had beer showers and walk-off dramatics. The once-stagnant offense is showing its versatility again, and they're pressuring opponents on the bases. Even the starting rotation, severely impacted by injuries, looks like it's finding more of a groove.

After Sunday's 8-3 win over the Detroit Tigers, the Rangers were 21 games over .500 and held a commanding 6½-game lead in the AL West, matching their largest of the season. In short: It's Texas Rangers baseball again in Arlington.

"We're having fun out there," shortstop Elvis Andrus said. "We did well to start the season and you settle into a routine and maybe we were chilling out and thinking the home runs would come and the pitchers would go nine innings and we'd be fine.

"We weren't making things happen. That's not right. The other teams sent us the message that we weren't playing the way we were capable. Then we started trying to do too much. Now we're aggressive, but playing it one inning at a time and making things happen."

It sure seems that way. And several players and manager Ron Washington pointed toward their huge comeback against the Los Angeles Angels on Aug. 1 as the spark that has allowed the Rangers' fire to burn again.

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