Struggling offense hopes to put rough April in rearview

Rangers lineup finishes month with .210 average, 13 home runs

Struggling offense hopes to put rough April in rearview

ARLINGTON -- A bleak April to forget is over for the Rangers. They can only hope May is better. Offensively it can't get much worse.

The Rangers managed just five hits on Wednesday night, losing to Mariners ace Felix Hernandez for the first time in Arlington since 2010. Hernandez and two relievers made it a three-game sweep for the Mariners with a 5-2 victory.

The Rangers finished April with a team batting average of .210 with a .322 slugging percentage, both their lowest since 1972. They have hit 13 home runs and nobody has more than two. They have one home run in their last six games.

Wednesday marked the 10th time in 21 games the Rangers have scored two runs or less. They scored 75 runs in 21 games, but 20 came in two games.

"We haven't produced," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "We're not where we want to be or where we're going to be. The numbers say we need to be better and we're going to be better."

Their performance with runners in scoring position has been most glaring. They are hitting .200 in those situations for the season after going 1-for-4 on Wednesday. They are 5-for-42 in their last seven games. In five games they had one hit with runners in scoring position. In the other two they had none.

"There is no magic ball or magic secret," designated hitter Prince Fielder said. "We've got to do it. We have to score runs. Nobody is going to feel sorry for us so we can't feel sorry for ourselves."

The Rangers' five hits all came in the first five innings. Hernandez and relievers Danny Farquhar and Fernando Rodney combined to retired the last 13 batters faced.

"We are playing hard and we are preparing," catcher Carlos Corporan said. "Everybody is working hard. Things aren't going well but we hit the ball hard against a good pitcher. This is going to change. We have a lot of great players."

The Rangers compounded their offensive misery by making a season-high four errors. They have committed 21 in 21 games.

"We need to play clean baseball and handle the baseball," Banister said. "We put a premium on that in Spring Training. We need to put a premium on that every day. Obviously that's not the way we want to handle the baseball. That's not the way we play defense.

"That will get cleaned up."

The Rangers have five months to do so. The first month is over.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.