Extra bases: More Rangers to bunt?

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers had a pre-batting practice bunting session Thursday, something skipper Ron Washington tries to schedule once every homestand.

"It's a refresher," Washington said. "Especially with newer guys in the lineup."

With the influx of young players this season, Washington concedes increased bunting could be in the Rangers' future.

"We have more guys that might be asked to bunt," he said.

The Rangers already lead the American League in sacrifices with 27. The bunt most often comes into play in close games, but the Rangers haven't had a lot of those lately. The average margin of defeat in their current six-game losing streak, for example, is five runs.

Texas' home run total of 68 is fourth from the bottom in the AL.

The Rangers can't sit back and wait on the three-run homer. They have only four of those this season, and no grand slams. The Rangers hit a home run every 45.6 at-bats. Only Kansas City, Boston and Minnesota have a worse at-bats-to-home run ratio in the AL.

Texas leads the league in the dubious category of grounding into double plays with 88, another reason to consider more bunting.

But here's a tip for the rest of the league: One Ranger who will not get the bunt sign, Washington said, is All-Star third baseman and cleanup hitter Adrian Beltre, the league's leading batter with a .341 average.

The Rangers will try to put a stop to their tailspin when they host the Angels at 6:15 p.m. CT Saturday at Globe Life Park. Rookie Miles Mikolas, with a 12.46 ERA, will face another tough customer in the Angels' Jered Weaver.