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Disappointing Rangers head north of the border

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Texas Rangers try to put a disappointing first half behind them on Friday when they open a three-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.

No team needed the break more than Texas, which has lost eight straight and 22 of its last 25 games. The Rangers have also lost 11 of their last 12 on the road and now occupy last place in the American League West, 21 games back of first-place Oakland.

"Commitment is doing what the game asks you to do and not looking for a reward for what you're doing," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "I'm in the process of getting this new bunch to understand what it means. Don't worry about stats or numbers. It's about the team. Some people need to check their attitude and check what commitment is."

The Rangers haven't dropped nine in a row since May 30-June 8, 2003.

"It has been tough," Washington said. "Through it all, they have handled it very well. In reality, we'd liked to have handled it better and get more wins. It didn't happen, but I didn't see any letdown."

Getting the call for the Rangers on Friday will be All-Star Yu Darvish, who was one of the few bright spots on the team, going 8-5 with a 2.97 ERA. Darvish, though, is just 1-3 with a 5.40 ERA over his last five starts.

"Just a little erratic. He usually finds himself on the course of the ballgame," Washington said. "There have been a couple of games there where he's been having trouble just trying to find the pitches he wanted to use as a combination."

Darvish is 2-2 with a 2.63 ERA in six career starts against Toronto.

Toronto also disappointed in the first half, but went into the break two games above .500 at 49-47. It could have been so much better, though, as the Blue Jays were 14 games above .500 on June 6 and held a six-game advantage atop the American League East.

But thanks to losses in 23 of 34 games Toronto finds itself four games back of Baltimore in the American League East. The Blue Jays also limped into the break, dropping seven of their last nine games.

"We're in second place," outfielder Jose Bautista said. "We're obviously not playing the baseball that we started off playing and that we're capable of playing. We've had a lot of injuries to deal with.

"Bottom line is, we've got to figure out how to win some of these games that we've been losing, especially close ones. Hopefully we can manage to keep winning enough games to stay in one of the top two positions in our division, and when we get all our big bats back, kind of get back in the thick of things."

Still, the Blue Jays have at least 49 wins at the break for the first time since 2006

On Friday, Toronto will hand the ball to righty R.A. Dickey, who has lost five of his last six starts. Dickey lost to Tampa Bay on Sunday, but pitched well, giving up just two runs in six innings, but still fell to 7-9 on the year to go along with a 3.82 ERA.

Dickey, who started his career with Texas back in 2001, is 2-1 against his former team with a 2.91 ERA in six games (3 starts).

Toronto took two of three from the Rangers earlier this season.

07/18 11:01:46 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 24
DET 7
Final
TOR 5
TAM 6
Final
DET 6
CLE 4
Final
NYM 0
WAS 3
Final
PIT 7
CHC 3
Final
PHI 4
MIA 5
Final
KAN 4
BOS 8
Final
MIL 9
CIN 2
Final
CWS 4
MIN 6
Final
STL 4
COL 1
Final
TEX 10
ATL 3
Final
ANA 1
HOU 6
Final
SFG 2
LOS 4
Final
SEA 0
OAK 4
Final
ARI 8
SDP 6
Final
BAL 3
NYY 2
7:05pm Tonight
BAL
TOR
 
7:10pm Tonight
NYM
MIA
 
7:10pm Tonight
TAM
NYY
 
7:10pm Tonight
ATL
WAS
 
8:05pm Tonight
CHC
CIN
 
8:10pm Tonight
KAN
CWS
 
8:10pm Tonight
HOU
CLE
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIN
DET
 
8:40pm Tonight
COL
LOS
 
9:40pm Tonight
ARI
SFG
 
10:05pm Tonight
ANA
SEA
 
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
PHI
 
Final
NYG 14
ARI 25
Final
CIN 24
ATL 10
Final
TEN 10
DAL 26
Final
CAR 24
DET 7
Final
WAS 41
JAC 10
Final
BUF 29
MIA 10
Final
MIN 7
NEP 30
Final
CLE 26
NOS 24
Final
SDC 30
SEA 21
Final
TAM 17
STL 19
Final
OAK 14
HOU 30
Final
DEN 24
KAN 17
Final
GBP 31
NYJ 24
Final
SFX 20
CHI 28
8:30pm Tonight
IND
PHI