Texas Rangers: Extra bases

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Before losing Friday night to the Oakland Athletics, the Texas Rangers had won 12 of 13 games.

As part of this surge, you must credit left-hander Derek Holland.

[+] EnlargeDerek Holland
AP Photo/Tony GutierrezIn his five starts -- four of which the Rangers won -- Derek Holland is 2-0 with a 1.31 ERA.
Of course, he didn't win every game, but his return from microfracture surgery on his left knee was a perfect example to his teammates to not give up on the season.

"I think Derek is a big part of it, not only with his performance so far, but just his personality and his leadership in the clubhouse," interim manager Tim Bogar said. "Everybody was really happy to see him back, and something about Derek, he worked his butt off to get back here, I mean he worked really hard. He probably could have been back earlier, but we didn’t want to push it. We wanted to make sure once he got back on the field he was never going back off of it again.

"It’s inspirational to other guys that he worked that hard so when he got back here you’ve seen the benefit of it, the games that he’s pitched. It’s been pretty special, and those guys in there just love having him around -- and that energy has been infused into this team; it’s been part of what’s happened."

Holland is scheduled for his final start of the season Saturday night against the A's. In five starts, Holland is 2-0 with a 1.31 ERA, and has given up two or fewer runs in all of them. He's the fifth pitcher in club history to achieve something like this.

"I think doing what we’re doing is huge," Holland said of the Rangers' recent victories. "The season we’ve had, even talking to the fans and the people, they've kinda forgotten what’s happened -- look what’s happening now? I think they’ve turned the page and we have already turned the page, too."

Holland said he would continue to rehab his knee and club officials have indicated that his arm is strong. Holland noted that he typically gets stronger as a season progresses, but if you combine the rehab work, minor-league starts and his time with the big club, maybe he's gaining strength at the right time.

"It’s been like a roller coaster," he said. "It started with me not being able to play and come out here watch these guys perform every day and not really feel like you’re a part of the team -- and then to get back with the team and then make an appearance and [Ron Washington] is gone. Just a big battle. The main thing is I’ve held out pretty strong and I’ve held up mentally and keep myself on the right side and help my teammates as much as possible."

Extra Bases: What is Mike Maddux's future?

September, 24, 2014
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ARLINGTON, Texas – Among the numerous offseason decisions for GM Jon Daniels is what the future holds for highly-regarded pitching coach Mike Maddux.

Maddux’s contract expires at the end of the 2014 season, and he most likely will get an interview with another club as a manager or pitching coach. Houston is a strong possibility, given Maddux’s ties to former Rangers team president Nolan Ryan, who is now an executive adviser for the Astros.

Of course, Maddux will interview for the managerial job with the Rangers, as well.

“Mike has done a very good job,” Daniels said. “It’s a unique spot. We’ve got some coaches -- not just Mike -- whose contracts are up at the end of the month, and I want to give them every courtesy and heads-up to where they stand before too much time passes. But at the same time, that’s a decision the manager needs to be involved with. It’s another reason we like to get this resolved sooner rather than later.”
[+] EnlargeMartinez
AP Photo/Tony GutierrezAfter a chat with Greg Maddux about pitching strategy, Nick Martinez pitched 6 2/3 innings Tuesday and gave up zero runs.

Daniels said he would like to hire a manager by the end of October so the new manager, whether it's Tim Bogar or somebody else, can put together his staff.

Fielder swinging a bat: In a good sign, injured slugger Prince Fielder (neck surgery) is swinging a bat again. Fielder, who has played in just 42 games this season, is on target to be ready for spring training in February.

“He’s been back here last couple of days doing his workout with [strength and conditioning coach] Jose Vazquez and started back on a lifting and baseball program,” Daniels said. “Before that it had been a range of motion and rehab stuff, and he’s now getting back into a more of a traditional workout.”

Martinez picks Maddux's brain: During the latest road trip, Nick Martinez, who earned the win against Houston on Tuesday, spoke to newly-minted Hall of Fame pitcher Greg Maddux throughout the Rangers' entire game against the Los Angeles Angels. Martinez didn't pitch that series, but he wanted to pick Maddux's brain.

"Shame on me if I don't talk to him," Martinez said of the chat.

Maddux, a special assistant to the GM, wanted Martinez to stop rushing to throw his fastball, which is his best pitch, early in the count. If Martinez just worked the count more by mixing his pitching and throwing strikes, Maddux said, his pitch count can be handled better, and when he's ahead of hitters, he can throw a fastball.

He did that against the Astros on Tuesday, when he went 6 2/3 innings and struck out five while throwing 101 pitches.

"I think I was pressing a little bit to get quick outs," Martinez said. "That's where those long innings come from so early, and they mount up. This time I attacked people and threw strikes and relied on my fastball with two strikes."

Extras Bases: Colby Lewis finishing comeback season with a flourish

September, 15, 2014
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers have scored 10 runs in a game 11 times this season.

Colby Lewis has been the starter in five of the 11.

In the afterglow of his 10th victory Sunday, a 10-3 decision over the Atlanta Braves at Globe Life Park, the 35-year-old veteran hinted the good fortune of run support is just that, good fortune.

“I’ve had my share of not getting runs, too,’’ said Lewis, thinking back to some past seasons. He owns a 10-13 record and a 5.12 earned run average.

The Bakersfield, California, native, who had full season of inactivity in 2013 due to surgeries on his elbow and hip, has proven he has not forgotten how to pitch.

On Sunday, Lewis sent out another reminder, blanking the playoff-contending but fading Braves for six innings.

He needed just 86 pitches to navigate through seven frames. Lewis limited the Braves to one run and five hits.

“Colby was outstanding,’’ said Rangers interim manager Tim Bogar. “He wanted to keep going after the seventh. He’s strong enough to do it. He’s that kind of guy, and it shows how important he is for us.’’

Sunday's performance is the continuation of a second-half trend. In nine previous starts since the All-Star break, Lewis’ ERA was 3.74

“It was a good game for me,’’ Lewis said. “Getting a sweep, it has been awhile. The guys are full of confidence.’’

Even though the Rangers scored 10 for Lewis, he had to be sharp early. The lead was only 2-0 going into the bottom of the fifth, when Texas scored six.

After the last off day of the season Monday, the Rangers begin a three-game series at the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday.

“We’re not in the race, so we want to be a spoiler,’’ Lewis said. “They played us tough over the years, and we want to make it difficult for them.’’

Extra bases: Bullpen getting many late calls

September, 14, 2014
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Interim Rangers manager Tim Bogar is not shy about going to the bullpen in the eighth inning.

The Rangers are hoping to get a chance to use the formula again for Sunday afternoon’s series finale against the Atlanta Braves set for 2:05 at Globe Life Park. The Rangers will be trying to win three in a row for the first time since mid-June.

In Friday’s 2-1 win over the Braves and again in a 3-2 victory Saturday, Bogar used three relievers in the eighth inning.

Just because the Rangers are eliminated from playoff hopes, there remains a responsibility to the other contenders.

“We’ve got a job to do for the rest of the league," said Bogar. “We are playing teams down the stretch that have a postseason chance."

In Friday’s game with the score tied 1-1, Shawn Tolleson entered to start the eighth and struck out Phil Gosselin. Left-hander Michael Kirkman was summoned and issued a walk. Then it was eventual winning pitcher Phil Klein coming on for a walk and two strikeouts.

On Saturday, with the Rangers up 3-2, Roman Mendez stayed on after a scoreless seventh to get the first out in the eighth. Kirkman got Freddie Freeman on a deep fly ball to right. Spencer Patton came on to strike out Justin Upton to end the inning.

For the ninth inning Friday, the Rangers turned to Neftali Feliz for his ninth save. On Saturday, Neal Cotts worked a scoreless ninth for his first save.

“We’ve got a lot of guys down there and we’re going to use them," Bogar said.

Extra Bases: Martinez continues to learn

August, 10, 2014
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HOUSTON – The individual wins and losses are something to ignore.

Texas Rangers right-hander Nick Martinez is doing his best to focus on getting better and not worry about a 1-8 record in 14 starts, something he takes to the hill Sunday against the Houston Astros.

Martinez needs to work on maintaining his mechanics in the middle innings and focus on trusting his stuff. Once he does that, the Rangers will be able depend on him consistently.

Since coming off the disabled list after suffering a rib injury, Martinez has posted a 7.29 ERA and is 0-3 in the four starts.

His inability to finish games, particularly when given a lead, can lead to a downward spiral. In his two most recent starts, the Rangers gave him 3-0 and 4-1 leads only to see him leave with the score tied.

The last time Martinez left a game with a lead was May 24 at Detroit.

“I've just got to go out there and keep improving and keep preparing like I did before,” he said. “I have to go out and compete and give this team a chance to win.”

Choo reaches 1,000: Left fielder/designated Shin-Soo Choo's ninth-inning single in Saturday's loss gave him 1,000 hits for his career. Choo tied a career high with four hits and is now 9-for-20 in his past five games.

"I'm happy but I would like some more wins," Choo said. "We still have a long ways to go. I never think about 1,000 hits when I get to the big leagues."

Andrus hitting well: Shortstop Elvis Andrus had two hits and drove in a run with a sacrifice fly in the loss. Andrus, who saw a 13-game hit streak snapped Friday, is hitting .368 in the past 15 games. On the season, Andrus' slash line is .274/.323/.349.

Base hits: Outfielder/first baseman Mike Carp is day-to-day with tightness in his groin. ... Right-hander Phil Klein pitched a scoreless seventh inning Saturday -- the first time since he was called up from Triple-A Round Rock that he didn't give up a run. Klein gave up a home run in each of his first two outings, becoming the only pitcher to do that in the past 100 years, according to STATS LLC.

Extra Bases: Feliz earns second save

July, 29, 2014
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- What might get lost in the Texas Rangers' 4-2 victory over the New York Yankees on Monday night was the performance of closer Neftali Feliz.

The right-hander earned his second save of the season with a 1-2-3 ninth inning, which ended with him retiring Derek Jeter on a ground ball to short.

“It felt good,” Feliz said. “I tried to keep my pitches down and get a ground ball and get three outs.”

Feliz is a different pitcher now than the one who rode a blazing fastball to 72 saves in 2010-11. Tommy John surgery has since sapped miles per hour off his offerings.

Feliz will throw in the mid-to-low 90s, and he sometimes has to show a little finesse rather than trying to power past hitters.

An example of this came Friday night against the Oakland Athletics, when Feliz took over the closer's role for the traded Joakim Soria. Feliz needed 26 pitches and had to get two outs with two runners on base to get his first save.

Maybe it was nerves that made things slightly difficult for Feliz that night, because Monday he was much smoother on the mound in his second appearance as closer.

“When we get a lead at 4-2, I want to come out there and attack the hitters and try to keep ground balls and get people out,” Feliz said.

Monday, that last out came against Jeter, who got to starter Yu Darvish for three hits and a walk.

“Jeter is a really good hitter,” Feliz said. “I tried to throw my fastball away and get a ground ball, and that’s what happened.”

Martin’s slump: Center fielder Leonys Martin is 0-for-16 with five strikeouts and two walks during the past five games. After a two-hit night last week in a rain-shortened game against the Yankees, Martin has struggled at the plate.

Martin has particularly struggled against left-handers this season, posting a slash line of .213/.250/.250. Fortunately for the 26-year-old, neither New York starter in the remaining two games of the series is a southpaw.
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux is proud of his little brother.

He's got good reason to be.

Maddux's younger brother, Greg Maddux, will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday in Cooperstown, New York. Mike Maddux missed the three-game series against the Oakland Athletics so he could support a man with 355 career victories, four Cy Young Awards and 18 Gold Gloves.

"One man's career comes to a crescendo," Mike Maddux said before heading East. "It is the ultimate pat on the back for a job well done. You make a minor league team, go to the big leagues and make that team. This is the ultimate team to make. He is on a new team, the highest honor you can get."

Greg Maddux is a special assistant to the Rangers, and he makes appearances numerous times during the year to help young pitchers, including Yu Darvish.

"A great guy -- very kind and great at golf," Darvish said with a smile.

Mikolas looks to build: Right-hander Miles Mikolas is scheduled to start Sunday night against the Athletics and lefty Scott Kazmir. In Mikolas' previous start, Monday at New York, he was fantastic and allowed just two runs on four hits in 7⅓ innings in the 4-2 victory over the Yankees. Mikolas, who will make his first career start against the A's, made just 17 starts at the minor league level; Sunday's would be his fifth in the big leagues. One of the things Mikolas is attempting to do is build on what happened in Yankee Stadium.

"Just try to repeat the things that I did in that game to be successful," Mikolas said. "Locate fastball down and away when they need to be there, and execute pitches and stick with the game plan."

Lack of home-run power at The Globe: The Rangers have hit 72 home runs this season, second-fewest in the American League and 27th in baseball. The AL average is 94. Texas lost Prince Fielder and Mitch Moreland to injuries and has not replaced that power in the lineup. One would believe the Rangers would at least hit plenty of homers in their own ballpark, it just hasn't been the case. The Rangers have hit 32 at Globe Life Park, while their pitchers have given up 104 total and 51 at home.

"You like to see balls hit out the ballpark on your side," manager Ron Washington said. "It's not necessary -- we just got to string stuff together. [The Athletics] definitely have guys that have the potential to swing the bat and hit it out the ballpark. They’ve shown that all year."

Oakland hit four home runs Saturday night. The Rangers have hit two home runs in the past eight games.

Extra Bases: Williams solid in debut

July, 26, 2014
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Jerome Williams said it isn’t his style to nitpick around the strike zone.

The 32-year-old right-hander prefers to go right at an opponent, even if the team in the other dugout is the explosive Oakland Athletics.

“That was my game plan, to go after them," Williams said Friday following a sparkling six-inning performance in which he allowed only five hits and one run in the Texas Rangers' 4-1 victory.

He issued no walks and struck out four.

“If they are going to get on base, they have to earn it," Williams added.

On a very warm night, Williams needed only 88 pitches for 18 outs. He was activated earlier in the day so he could make the start.

“It was an outstanding job," manager Ron Washington said. “I’ll take six innings every time. He was changing speeds well. Against that lineup, he did a good job."

Before the game, Washington was not committing to Williams’ future role, telling him just to pitch his game and take advantage of the opportunity.

Afterward, Williams said he didn’t feel he had to prove anything during the contest.

But his 2014 statistics haven’t been encouraging.

He began the season working out of the Houston bullpen and went 1-4 with a 6.04 ERA. On July 8, he was released by the Astros.

Four days later the Rangers signed Williams to a minor league contract. With Triple-A Round Rock, Williams made a pair of starts, going 0-1 with a 6.10 ERA.

But back on a major league mound, Williams appeared calm and in control. He left Rangers fans looking for more.

The Rangers and Athletics are set meet Saturday night in Game 2 of the series, with Nick Tepesch to oppose Oakland’s Sonny Gray in the 7:05 p.m. CT start at Globe Life Park.
NEW YORK -- At the start of Monday's game, Shin-Soo Choo was dealing with a 0-for-21 slump, a position move to right field for the first time since 2012 and his own regret.

Choo said he should have rested a sore left ankle, nicked back in April. It's clear that Choo is not himself at the plate, but Monday night against the New York Yankees, he had two hits, including a RBI single in a three-run sixth inning that pushed the Texas Rangers to a 4-2 victory.

For the record, Choo's slump saw his slump extend to 22 at-bats when he flew out in the first inning. But he blooped a double to center in the third, then lined a single to center to plate a big run.

Yet Choo's season has just been terrible.

It all started with that ankle injury.

"I made a bad decision [by playing],” Choo said before Monday's game. "I should have had more rest instead of trying to come back as soon as possible.”

Manager Ron Washington commended Choo for playing through his health issues and said the outfielder isn't using the injury as an excuse for his slash line: .239/.355/.370.

This latest slump for Choo was just the latest example of how bad things have been. During the 0-fer spell, Choo struck out 11 times and, over a 16-game stretch, hit just .116 with 16 strikeouts.

Over the long haul of a baseball season, however, professional hitters are asked to forget about certain things.

"It's easy to say that," Choo said. "But I just tell myself every day is a new game and every pitch is new pitches and every at-bat is new at-bats, that’s what I tried to do. Then I just did it between pitches and I just stepped up in the batter's box and say the next pitch is new."

Rios getting close: Rangers right fielder Alex Rios (sprained right ankle) said he took some swings prior to Monday's game and felt good. It appears he'll return to the lineup Wednesday if there are no complications. Rios sprained the ankle swinging the bat in Toronto on Saturday. Rios is hitting .302/.330/.435 and has been the subject of trade talk. The Rangers have a 2015 club option for Rios with a $1 million buyout.

Smolinski, Soto hurt: Designated hitter Jake Smolinski fouled a pitch off the inside of his left foot in Monday's sixth inning. He continued the at-bat but was lifted for a pinch hitter in the ninth inning. Smolinski said X-rays of the foot were negative and he's day-to-day. Catcher Geovany Soto, who just returned to the team last weekend in Toronto following right-knee surgery, strained his right groin running the bases in the sixth. Soto said he feels fine but his status for the rest of the Yankees series, which continues through Thursday, is uncertain.

Extra Bases: Is 100-loss season a possibility?

July, 14, 2014
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Are the Texas Rangers headed for a 100-loss season?

The very thought would have seemed laughable on June 16. That evening, the Rangers evened their record at 35-35 with a 14-8 road victory over first-place Oakland.

Since that day almost a month ago, however, the collapse has been startling. Texas has won a grand total of three times in a stretch of 25. Over one of the dimmest four-week stretches in club history, the Rangers have experienced two eight-game losing streaks (including one that is ongoing) and another of six.

Only twice since relocating to Texas has the club stumbled to 100 losses in a season -- 100 in 1972, the Rangers' first season after the franchise left from Washington, and 105 the following year. Since their move to Globe Life Park, the Rangers’ season-high for losses is 91 in 2000 and 2003.

To avoid a 100-loss season, the Rangers will need to win a minimum of 25 out of the 67 games that remain.

This Rangers team badly needed the All-Star break to step back and regroup. They showed more spirited play in their recent Angels series. However, the immediate schedule coming out of the break does Texas no favors -- three at Toronto and four at Yankee Stadium, then back home for Oakland and the Yankees.

Approximately 10 weeks of the season remain. The team needs to average 2.5 wins per week.

Even for a team ravaged by injury, that's certainly doable.

Extra bases: Smolinski keeps impressing

July, 13, 2014
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Jake Smolinski only a couple of days ago was worried about playing defense in early innings because at this time of year, the sun is directly in the eyes of the left fielder.

Smolinski, one of the newest Rangers, looked as if he had been playing left field in Globe Life Park all of his career with two spectacular diving catches in Saturday's 5-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.

[+] EnlargeJake Smolinski
Jim Cowsert/USA TODAY SportsJake Smolinski raises his glove after one of two diving catches he pulled off against the Angels on Saturday.
He took a hit away from Josh Hamilton in the second inning, racing in and to his left with a dive. An inning later, he victimized Albert Pujols with an even more impressive play. Smolinski raced to his left and made a headlong dive, plucking the ball off the grass.

"When he hit it, I thought I had a shot," Smolinski said of the catch on Pujols' hit. "Right before the ball arrived, I told myself I'm going to give it all I've got and if I miss it, so what."

The Angels had the bases loaded at the time and instead of scoring two or three, Los Angeles had to settle for one on a sacrifice fly.

For Smolinski, it is the latest chapter in a whirlwind of a first week in the majors. Even after going 0-for-3 on Saturday, his batting average is .471. In his first four major league starts, he went 8-for-12, a Rangers club record. Five of the hits came in succession.

He batted .267 this season at Double-A Frisco and Triple-A Round Rock before being promoted Monday.

"I'm not worried about the numbers," Smolinski said. "It's a small sample. I'm just taking it one day at a time."

He said he has noticed several differences about the big leagues compared to the minors.

"The pressure of the game is much more," he said. “The crowds are a lot bigger than I'm used to. The atmosphere is different."

The Rangers host the Angels in their final game before the All-Star break at 2:05 p.m. CT Sunday at Globe Life Park.

Extra bases: More Rangers to bunt?

July, 12, 2014
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers had a pre-batting practice bunting session Thursday, something skipper Ron Washington tries to schedule once every homestand.

"It's a refresher," Washington said. "Especially with newer guys in the lineup."

With the influx of young players this season, Washington concedes increased bunting could be in the Rangers' future.

"We have more guys that might be asked to bunt," he said.

The Rangers already lead the American League in sacrifices with 27. The bunt most often comes into play in close games, but the Rangers haven't had a lot of those lately. The average margin of defeat in their current six-game losing streak, for example, is five runs.

Texas' home run total of 68 is fourth from the bottom in the AL.

The Rangers can't sit back and wait on the three-run homer. They have only four of those this season, and no grand slams. The Rangers hit a home run every 45.6 at-bats. Only Kansas City, Boston and Minnesota have a worse at-bats-to-home run ratio in the AL.

Texas leads the league in the dubious category of grounding into double plays with 88, another reason to consider more bunting.

But here's a tip for the rest of the league: One Ranger who will not get the bunt sign, Washington said, is All-Star third baseman and cleanup hitter Adrian Beltre, the league's leading batter with a .341 average.

The Rangers will try to put a stop to their tailspin when they host the Angels at 6:15 p.m. CT Saturday at Globe Life Park. Rookie Miles Mikolas, with a 12.46 ERA, will face another tough customer in the Angels' Jered Weaver.

Extra Bases: Gimenez ignores Weaver's taunts

July, 11, 2014
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- When catcher Chris Gimenez took the mound as an emergency pitcher in the ninth inning of Thursday's 15-6 Rangers loss, he could hear razzing from Jered Weaver in the Angels' dugout.

The last time Gimenez, a catcher-first baseman for the Rangers, pitched, it was in an Alaskan college summer league. Weaver, now the ace of the Angels' pitching staff, was a teammate.

“He was reminding me that my earned run average back then was 36,’’ Gimenez said. “I was hoping not to have a 36 after this one.’’

Instead, Gimenez set the Angels down in order on a groundout, strikeout and fly ball.

“Really it is not something you want to do, but at the same time you kind of do,’’ Gimenez said. “You might as well have fun with it.’’

In the fourth inning, Gimenez suggested to a coach that if needed, he was ready. In the eighth, he got word to warm up.

“I was trying to calm myself down. I'm a catcher. My plan was to throw it down the middle and see what happens.’’

Gimenez became the seventh position player to pitch in Rangers' history, and the second this season. Mitch Moreland worked an inning in a 12-1 loss in Colorado on May 6. The most notable example is Jose Canseco's appearance against Boston in 1993, when he injured his arm and missed the rest of the season.

The Rangers will hope to avoid another emergency hurler when they host the Angels in Game 2 of the series, set for 7:05 tonight at Globe Life Park.

Extra Bases: Lewis a mentor to young staff

July, 10, 2014
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Considering the physical problems Colby Lewis has overcome, his 6-5 record is one of the 2014 bright spots for the Rangers.

Coming off surgeries on his elbow and hip the past two years, the Rangers couldn’t have known for sure what the 34-year-old right-hander could give them.

The Rangers re-signed him to a minor league contract and issued a spring training invitation.

Lewis needed a little extra time at the start of the season but debuted in mid-April and hasn’t missed a turn.

Lewis is scheduled to make his 16th start of the season when the Rangers host the Los Angeles Angels in a 7:05 start tonight at Globe Life Park. On the Rangers' recent 1-6 road trip, Lewis accounted for the only victory with six strong innings against the New York Mets. He didn’t have any walks and limited New York to two earned runs on eight hits. The Rangers haven’t won since.

"It’s fastball command," Lewis said. "When you can locate your pitches, it makes the job a lot easier. When you’re not walking guys, you can give up a few hits."

In his career against the Angels, Lewis is 5-4 with a 4.23 ERA, a line that includes a 5-2 win in Anaheim, California, in May.

With so many young pitchers a part of the Rangers staff, Lewis' role is changing. He’s a guy the rookies can learn from.

"I talk to the guys and try to get them to relax," Lewis said. "We do have a lot of young guys."

Extra bases: Odor, 20, learning on job

July, 9, 2014
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Rookie second baseman Rougned Odor, like many Rangers these days, is fighting a slump.

Odor came into Tuesday’s game batting .173 in his past 17 games.

After going 1-for-3, the 20-year-old's batting average is .263, down 39 points from a high-water .302.

Manager Ron Washington said that even with Odor’s adept baseball instincts, there is a definite learning curve.

“Odor is experiencing baseball at its highest level," Washington said. “It is a constant game of adjustments. You adjust to what the pitcher is trying to do, and then he adjusts. You don’t learn it all in a year. He’s going to be up and down."

On Monday, the Venezuelan showed great range to turn shallow fly balls into outs. But on Tuesday, mixed with two putouts and three assists, Odor committed his fourth error of the season on a ground ball up the middle.

“Odor plays hard," Washington said. “He’s going to be fine. He makes mistakes here and there, but he’s going to be a fine player. He keeps battling every day."

Washington said a strength of Odor's is that he listens and does what is asked of him the first time.

“But even with that, it still takes time in this game," his manager said.

The Rangers wrap up a three-game series against AL West foe Houston with first pitch at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday at Globe Life Park. The Astros took the first two games of the series 12-7 and 8-3.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Colby Lewis
WINS ERA SO IP
10 5.18 133 170
OTHER LEADERS
BAA. Beltre .324
HRA. Beltre 19
RBIA. Beltre 77
RA. Beltre 79
OPSA. Beltre .879
ERAC. Lewis 5.18
SOY. Darvish 182