ARLINGTON, Texas -- Rangers manager Ron Washington will protect his players from umpires, keeping them from getting ejected.
But he also wants his young players, ones like rookie center fielder Leonys Martin, to learn how deal with umpires on their own.
Martin didn't like a strike call against him in the fifth inning of Saturday's 8-4 loss to the Angels. He was ahead 1-0 in the count and Angels pitcher Tommy Hanson threw a slider around the outside corner that Wally Bell called a strike. Martin voiced his displeasure.
That brought about a face-to-face moment between rookie and home plate umpire.
"He's going to have to learn how to handle an umpire," Washington said before Sunday night's game. "I can't tell him how to handle an umpire. When he's in that box, that's him and the umpire. He has to handle it. He felt like the ball was out."
Washington said he sprinted out to home plate because Bell took off his mask and Martin looked at him. Washington didn't want Martin to get ejected.
"They're competing," Washington said. "That's what I told Wally. He's just competing. It's no disrespect. He's just competing. That's all."
Martin said after Saturday's game that he understands he's fairly new to the big leagues. The 25-year-old Cuban said he was trying to his job and help his team. He ended up grounding out. He picked up his first hit of the season with a single in the seventh inning.
Washington said he hopes umpires have a long fuse with young players like Martin.
"I hope they give him some latitude," Washington said. "That would be the most respectful thing to do. Wally told me he wasn't going to run him. He was just going to educate him. Wally told me that. If I hadn't gotten out there, he might have been gone."
Other Rangers notes:
Martin back in center: Leonys Martin was back in center field on Sunday against Angels right-hander Jered Weaver. Rangers manager Ron Washington said he did it to help get Martin in a groove.
"I decided to give Martin back-to-back days," Washington said, "And try to get him going a little bit. Then eventually I'll give Gentry back-to-back games. I had the one game and out. I don't want him to start thinking. I want him to just play baseball."
Jet stream: The Rangers and Angels combined for seven home runs Saturday, leading one to believe that the newly renovated Capital One Club hasn't impacted Rangers Ballpark's reputation as being hitter friendly.
"Yesterday the wind was gusting and today I feel it's gusting out there too," Washington said. "There's days you have like that in this ballpark. As we move into the summer time, you may begin to notice something."
Ogando ready: Right-hander Alexi Ogando said he's ready to build on Wednesday's 6 1/3-shutout innings against the Astros. Ogando set a career high with 10 strikeouts.
"I'm confident," Ogando said. "I was able to throw my change-up and my slider."