Extra Bases: Routine helps Joakim Soria

May, 24, 2014
5/24/14
8:00
AM CT
DETROIT -- Routine means everything for Joakim Soria these days. Life as a closer is tough enough, not knowing when you might get in a game to get those final three outs. But it becomes more of a challenge when you're not pitching much.

Soria saved the Rangers' win over the Mariners on Wednesday, his first save since May 2. He's made some appearances to try to keep sharp, but that's not the same thing as saving games.

"What I do in BP and my throwing program is important," Soria said. "I keep my arm lose and strong by doing those things. What tends to happen is you go stretches where you don't have saves and then they all hit at once. I just have to be ready."

Soria has eight saves, and in those saves hitters are 0-for-25 with no walks and seven strikeouts. He says having been in the league for a while has helped him find out exactly what he needs to do to keep himself mentally and physically prepared.

"You learn what works and what doesn't," Soria said.

Robertson OK: The big question for outfielder Daniel Robertson is whether he can avoid a DL stint. Robertson said Friday that an ENT doctor had cleared him to play, but he still had swelling in his face, where he had three small fractures near his eye. But all the tests checked out. Robertson will have to wear a facemask once he does get back in the lineup.

"Like Rip Hamilton did," Robertson said. "I'll get an intimidating-looking one."

Change up: Nick Martinez said he's working on throwing his changeup for strikes more often. Martinez, who worked on the pitch the past few years, had a lot of success with it in the minors, many times as a swing-and-miss pitch.

"But up here, they lay off it and take it for a ball," Martinez said. "I'm throwing it but not getting as many strikes as I need to. It needs to catch a little more of the zone."

Martinez is 0-1 with a 2.28 ERA this season and has joined the rotation. He'll pitch tonight against the Tigers and Rick Porcello. Martinez said he's been pleased with his command, which, like everybody else, is crucial.

"If I can command the fastball, my other pitches get better," Martinez said.

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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