W2W4: Rangers vs. Minnesota Twins

June, 27, 2014
Jun 27
1:00
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers have lost a season-high eight consecutive games heading into a three-game weekend series against the Minnesota Twins.

Here's our preview:

What is going on?: The Rangers have fallen on hard times during this losing streak. Pitching and hitting is inconsistent. Team officials met Thursday afternoon to discuss the progress of some young players and to make sure, as manager Ron Washington says, that everybody is on the same page. That's good for the front office, but the on-the-field product isn't on the same page.

There were two instances in Thursday's game, a loss to the Detroit Tigers when outfielders almost ran into each other catching fly balls. It seems this team has reached a low point. Elvis Andrus said players need to keep their heads up instead of getting down on themselves when things go wrong.

Tepesch on long rest: Friday's starter, Nick Tepesch (2-3, 4.38) gets the call against RHP Kevin Correia (4-8, 5.02). Tepesch is going on eight days rest. The Rangers had two off days since he lost June 18 at Oakland. The move wasn't due to anything being physically wrong with him, it was more about Yu Darvish and giving him an extra day so he can avoid pitching in the All-Star Game and be fresher in the second half of the season. Tepesch is 0-3 with a 5.79 ERA in his last four starts.

Beltre's hot streak: Adrian Beltre has seven hits in his last 10 at-bats, spanning the last three games. However, Beltre is one for his last nine with three strikeouts against Correia. In the last four games, Beltre's average has jumped from .306 to .325.

Where are the runs?: After a 14-8 win at Oakland on June 16, the Rangers have been outscored 51-23 during this current losing streak. Washington said he's limited in what he can do with the lineup. He inserted Carlos Pena into the No. 6 spot for the Tigers series and he hit a home run in his second game after being called up from Triple A-Round Rock.

The pitching matchups: Friday, Tepesch vs. Correia. Saturday, RHP Yu Darvish (7-4, 2.62) vs. RHP Phil Hughes (8-3, 3.40). Sunday, RHP Colby Lewis (5-5, 5.94) vs. RHP Kyle Gibson (6-6, 3.92).
Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Yu Darvish
WINS ERA SO IP
9 2.92 159 126
OTHER LEADERS
BAA. Beltre .322
HRA. Beltre 14
RBIA. Beltre 53
RA. Beltre 52
OPSA. Beltre .880
ERAY. Darvish 2.92
SOY. Darvish 159