Elvis Andrus gets message loud & clear

NEW YORK -- Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus was back in the lineup on Tuesday, the first game after he was pulled late in a loss to the Twins by manager Ron Washington.

Washington said publicly that he pulled Andrus because he felt like he wasn't focused on a throw in the eighth inning.

"I did what I felt like I needed to do," Washington said. "He knows I care about him. When I take him out or talk to him, he knows I have his best interests in mind. I just want him to play the way he can play -- all the time."

Andrus said he understood the message.

"After he took me out, he told me that he saw me on the last throw that I made that I was taking it for granted," Andrus said. "I take that as a lesson. I'm still learning everyday."

Andrus said he was mad at himself for a couple of plays he didn't make earlier in the game.

"It was a tight game and I didn't make those plays and help my team like I felt I should have," Andrus said. "It was still mad after that and I didn't let it go. I have to let that go and keep making plays."

A few times in recent years, Washington has talked to Andrus about staying focused and keeping his mental game sharp. This was another opportunity to do that.

"After the game, I started thinking and talked to him and realized it was true that I didn't stay focused," Andrus said. "The season is too long and stuff happens. I learned my lesson and hopefully it won't happen again."