Rangers looking for turnaround after road trip

Texas' 5-10 record is worst season start since 2002

Rangers looking for turnaround after road trip

OAKLAND -- The Rangers are on their way back to Arlington after their first swing to the West Coast, a nine-game trip that was hardly a vacation.

9-1 loss to the Athletics on Wednesday left the Rangers 3-6 on the trip, including losing five of their past six. They are in last place in the American League West with a 5-10 record -- their worst through 15 games since a 4-11 start to the 2002 season.

"Not good," first baseman Mike Napoli said. "I think … I know we are a better team than this. It was rough. It's not what we wanted to do on this road trip. We are going to be home for a long time. It will be a good time to get back on track and play the game the right way and do what we do best."

The Rangers are home for 10 games, beginning with a four-game series against the Royals that starts on Thursday night.

Perez fans Plouffe

"It feels like we have been on the road for a month," catcher Robinson Chirinos said. "Not only myself, but everybody is excited to go home. We need to keep going day by day. Today is over. We know we have everything in this clubhouse we need to have a good team."

Any chance of the Rangers finishing the trip on a positive note took a big hit in the first inning, when the Athletics scored four times off of starter Martin Perez. All four runs scored after two outs on a run-scoring single by Ryon Healy, a two-run double by Josh Phegley and another RBI double by Yonder Alonso.

Perez is now 2-14 with a 5.45 ERA in 25 road starts since returning from Tommy John surgery midway through the 2015 season.

"It starts with playing good baseball," manager Jeff Banister said. "Defense today wasn't necessarily a challenge for us, but it starts off the mound and getting good starts, quality at-bats and getting good relief appearances. It's a very simple formula that we have been challenged with in, really, all facets of the game."

The Rangers entered the day leading the league in runs scored. But Banister knows it's been a hit-or-miss offense. They have scored 41 runs in their five wins and just 31 runs in the 10 losses.

Gallo's monster solo homer

"A good offense is one that can string innings together and mount a charge in more than just one inning," Banister said. "An offense that is hit-and-miss is challenging. We have had some big innings, but mostly on home runs. We've got to draw walks, string some hits together, start wearing down the starter and getting to their bullpen."

The Rangers hit .207 with a .278 on-base percentage and .352 slugging percentage during the road trip. Their 10 homers were the main reason why they scored 39 runs. Their pitchers had a 4.46 ERA.

"We are going to get this thing headed in the right direction," Banister said. "It has been very challenging for us here early. This is a very resilient bunch of guys, we'll find a way to put some wins together. Obviously the record is not where we want to be. These is no feel-good about that. But I still feel good about this group of guys."

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.