The Texas Rangers are finally back at their ballpark and they could use some home cooking. The Oakland A's may be the perfect guests.
The Rangers open a seven-game homestand with a three-game series beginning Monday night against AL West rival Oakland. Texas is coming off a 3-6 road trip out of the All-Star break.
The West-leading Rangers (57-42) did win the final two on the road at defending World Series champion Kansas City. Sunday's 2-1 victory ended a stretch in which the Rangers played only four home games in a 28-day span beginning on June 27.
"Very nice way to end this road trip," Texas manager Jeff Banister said. "Opportunity to win a series, get back on a winning track, put a couple of games together than obviously were hard fought."
Starting pitching has been an issue for Texas over the last three weeks. The Rangers did get consecutive solid starts out of ace Cole Hamels and A.J. Griffin against the Royals, and more help appears on the way.
General manager Jon Daniels indicated Sunday that injured starters Derek Holland and Colby Lewis will rejoin the rotation on the first day they're eligible to come off the disabled list, Aug. 20 and 21, respectively.
Daniels also admitted the club could be in the market for a "rental" to boost the rotation before the trade deadline Aug. 1.
"I was hoping we wouldn't consider rentals," Daniels told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "We're always open for long-term, controllable acquisitions."
The injuries to the staff led to the reversal of ground for the Rangers, who have seen what was once a 10-game lead chopped to 2 1/2 games.
"With a healthy rotation we would, like we did last year, not consider rentals," Daniels added. "It's still not my preference, but we've got to be open to it."
Though the A's (45-54) are last in the AL West, they've been hot since the All-Star break. Oakland is 7-3 since baseball resumed and is on a three-game winning streak, including Sunday's 3-2 victory over Tampa Bay on Billy Butler's go-ahead home run in the eighth inning.
The A's took the lead in the eighth or later in each of the three wins against the Rays. Oakland has also won three consecutive series for the first time since 2014.
"Winning's definitely contagious," Butler told MLB.com. "I feel like when you come from behind or make surges late, once you do them you have confidence as a team that you're going to do it."
The Rangers and Oakland are playing in Arlington for first time this season. The A's have gone 4-3 in the first seven meetings, all in Oakland, but have lost the last three. Oakland will visit Globe Life Park for a series once each in July, August and September.
Texas is 29-15 at home this year.