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Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Extra Bases: Woeful July coming to close

By Calvin Watkins

ARLINGTON, Texas -- When the Rangers finish their three-game series with the New York Yankees it will be the last game played this month.

July has been a nightmare for the Rangers.

Coming into the series finale with the Yankees, the Rangers are 5-20 this month.

Last season, the Rangers were 11-15 in July and were outscored by their opponents, 121-101, but there was some good news. A 20-7 August pushed the Rangers in good shape heading into the pennant race before it all fell apart in September.

In 2012, a 9-14 finish was followed by a 19-10 mark in August.

So there could be some good news regarding the Rangers in the next month of the season. In the second half of 2014, the Rangers are 4-8, and despite Sunday's 9-3 defeat to the AL West leading Oakland Athletics, the Rangers have played a better brand of ball.

Elvis Andrus' stretch: The starting shortstop had three hits in Tuesday's loss to the Yankees and it was the seventh time this year he's had three hits in a game. He's extended his hitting streak to six games and is hitting .409 during this stretch. Andrus had a tough 0-12 slump last week and has played well in the last few games.

Martin ends a slump: Leonys Martin was in a 0-for-16 slump going into the Tuesday game before he ended his slump with a seventh inning triple. He added a single in the ninth.
"It was awesome to hit like that," Martin said. "You like to score more runs but I had five at bats. I kept within myself and I felt strong. I just wanted to keep fighting."

Colby Lewis gets the start: After recovering from his surgery, Lewis, who starts against the Yankees on Wednesday, said he's gaining strength on a regular basis. The veteran right-hander has allowed three runs or less in four of his last five starts. In that one start, Lewis gave up 13 runs, 11 earned in a loss to the Angels. And while Lewis said he's feeling better the numbers indicate he's still struggling in someways. He's 1-4 with a 6.75 ERA in his last six starts. At The Glove, Lewis is 1-5 with a 8.40 ERA in nine starts.