Texas Rangers: Adam Dunn

Good signs for Nick Tepesch going into '15

September, 26, 2014
Sep 26
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Consistency is something a young pitcher like the Texas Rangers' Nick Tepesch is still learning.

The right-hander went 2-0 in his first three starts of the 2014 season but finished 3-10 in the last 19.

On Friday night, Tepesch struggled with his control. In going 4 1/3 innings, he gave up six runs, five earned before collecting a loss against the Oakland Athletics.

[+] EnlargeNick Tepesch
Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports

"As the season went on he got better and better," Rangers interim manager Tim Bogar said of starter Nick Tepesch.

"I didn't have very good command," said Tepesch, who fell to 5-11 on the season. "I didn't get to strike one very well and missing strike one you find yourself fighting to get back into counts. It puts you in a disadvantage not getting strike one and falling behind early. A lot of deep counts."

It was an interesting lineup for the Athletics on Friday, a team fighting to maintain a playoff berth. Adam Dunn started in the No. 2 spot for the first time since 2008 and drove in the first two runs of the night with a double.

"I don't think it threw me off at all," said Tepesch on facing Dunn, who normally bats in the Nos. 4, 5 or 6 spots. "To go from four to two, it's not that big of a difference. You still got to face him."

This entire season is encouraging for Tepesch.

He compiled a 4.08 ERA in September, threw a career-high 126 innings -- third most on the team -- and his 22 starts were third-most behind Colby Lewis and Nick Martinez, who will pitch the regular season finale on Sunday.

As the Rangers figure out who will be in their rotation for 2015, Yu Darvish and Derek Holland are locks.

There's Lewis, a free agent who wants to return and told GM Jon Daniels this during the last road trip.

The Rangers have young talented pitchers recovering from injuries, including Martin Perez and Matt Harrison. Miles Mikolas showed some promise before he was shut down because of shoulder soreness.

Tepesch is among this group who will compete for a starting job in 2015.

"As the season went on, he got better and better," interim manager Tim Bogar said. "[Friday] was a little bit of a setback; nothing crazy, it was just one of those nights. He threw the ball OK, just not where he wanted to throw it. We make that double play there (in the third inning, when a first baseman Adam Rosales committed an error on the play), it might be a little bit different.

“I'm pretty happy with how many innings he's thrown this year. And he's posted every fifth day, and it's a good sign going into next year."

Rapid Reaction: Athletics 6, Rangers 2

September, 26, 2014
Sep 26

ARLINGTON, Texas -- At some point it had to end.


The Texas Rangers' five-game win streak ended in a 6-2 loss to the Oakland Athletics on Friday night.

As this season inches to a conclusion, the Athletics, a team that’s struggled in the second half, reduced their magic number to clinch a playoff berth to one, pending the outcome of Friday night’s game between the Seattle Mariners and the Los Angeles Angels.

Rangers starter Nick Tepesch displayed something most observers have known for most of the season: He struggles with consistency.

Tepesch (5-11) gave up six runs, of which five were earned, in 4 1/3 innings. He walked four while tossing 88 pitches. Tepesch earned a no-decision in his previous outing, Sept. 21 against the Angels in Anaheim, California, where he gave up just one run in seven innings. He left with the game tied at 1-1. Prior to that, he earned a victory at Oakland on Sept. 16. But that broke a four-start winless streak, in which three of the games resulted in losses.

In those four starts, Tepesch gave up 15 runs on 28 hits in 22 innings of work.

Prior to Tepesch’s start on Friday, Rangers starters allowed just three earned runs or fewer in 17 of the club’s past 18 games, starting Sept. 6.

Good starting pitching ended Friday night.

How it happened?: Leonys Martin started things for the Rangers with a leadoff single against Scott Kazmir in the first. He later scored on Ryan Rua’s double to center. The Athletics had the infield in on Rua’s at-bat, telling you the desperate nature of this team, given how poorly Oakland has played in the second half.

In the third inning, the Athletics got a two-run double from power hitter Adam Dunn, who was batting second for the first time all season and for the first time since 2011. Josh Reddick added to the lead with a solo shot in the fourth to make the score 3-1 in favor of Oakland.

In the fifth, the A’s broke the game open on Tepesch. With one out, Tepesch allowed a single and a walk before Jed Lowrie’s double to right pushed the lead to 4-1. Then Reddick struck again -- this time against reliever Robbie Ross Jr. -- with a two-run single to center for a 6-1 lead.

A solid stretch of games: Before losing on Friday night, the Rangers produced a major league-best 12-1 record since Sept. 12. Only two teams, the Washington Nationals and Toronto Blue Jays, had won 12 of 13 games this season. During the month of September, the Rangers are 13-11, tying for their second-most victories in any month this season. The Rangers went 15-12 in April and 13-15 in May.

A few hitting streaks and slumps: Martin is hitting 3-for-15 during this seven-game homestand, but over the past 21 games the Rangers' leadoff hitter is hitting .313 with multiple hits in 16 of the past 40 contests.

Elvis Andrus is hitting .211 in the past 31 games and has just three hits during the homestand.

Adrian Beltre is hitting .362 in the past 38 games and .333 during this homestand. Friday he went 1-for-4 with a ninth-inning single.

Rua has hit safely in 15 of the past 18 games, and this includes seven doubles and 11 RBIs.

What’s next?: On Saturday night, LHP Derek Holland (2-0, 1.31) starts against Jeff Samardzija (5-5, 2.92 with Oakland). First pitch of the third game in this four-game series is at 7:05 p.m. CT.

Rapid Reaction: Rangers 16, White Sox 0

August, 5, 2014
Aug 5

CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox were crushed 16-0 by the Texas Rangers on Tuesday, the second time in three days they gave up 16 runs in a game.

How it happened: White Sox starter John Danks was rocked, giving up nine runs on eight hits, including four home runs, in 4⅔ innings. Danks also walked five batters. The Rangers ended the night with five home runs, their most in a game since last season against the White Sox. Adam Dunn was called on to pitch the ninth inning in the blowout, and he gave up only one run, topping out at 83 mph on the radar gun. Rangers starter Colby Lewis gave up six hits in the complete-game shutout.

What it means: So much for the top three members of the White Sox rotation, as that group has been reduced to two: Chris Sale and Jose Quintana. Danks has a 10.29 ERA over his four starts since the All-Star break and also has given up nine home runs in that span. The struggles have come after Danks went 2-0 with a 2.73 ERA in his four starts before the break.

Outside the box: Before the game, Danks, Sale and Quintana boasted a combined 25-14 record and a 3.21 ERA over 62 starts (44 quality). Not only has Danks fallen by the wayside in the group, but Sale and Quintana have completely distanced themselves. Quintana is 3-0 with a 1.69 ERA over his past nine starts, while Sale is 3-0 with a 1.67 ERA over his past five.

Offbeat: The White Sox’s Moises Sierra had his patience tested Thursday as the Rangers’ offense erupted early. Sierra was in the ninth spot of Chicago's batting order and didn’t come to the plate for the first time until he led off in the third inning. But by that time, Rangers leadoff man Shin-Soo Choo already had made three trips to the plate, hitting a double, striking out and grounding into a double play.

Up next: The White Sox will send left-hander Sale (10-1, 2.09 ERA) to the mound Wednesday in the finale of the three-game series. The Rangers will counter with right-hander Nick Tepesch (3-7, 4.84) in the 1:10 p.m. start from U.S. Cellular Field.

CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox opened a three-game series Monday with a rain-shortened 5-3 victory over the Texas Rangers, with the game called in the top of the seventh.

How it happened: Tyler Flowers had a home run and a triple, but his biggest hit might have been his two-run single with two out in the sixth inning in a steady rain that put the White Sox ahead for good. The game was called a half-inning later. Hector Noesi gave up three runs on four hits over seven innings while facing the team that designated him for assignment in April. On the day he was named both American League player of the month and rookie of the month, Jose Abreu delivered a two-run single in the third inning.

What it means: After a rough start in which he gave up three early runs, Noesi gave the White Sox the seven innings they sorely needed. The bullpen needed a night off after getting roughed up Sunday, and Noesi’s outing, combined with some timely rain, gave the group a rest. On Sunday, five White Sox relievers combined to give up 15 runs and 18 hits over the final four innings. The White Sox gave up four hits Monday after giving up 23 on Sunday.

Outside the box: Adam Eaton had two more hits Monday to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. He also has reached base in his past 21 contests. He had a streak earlier this season when he reached base in 20 consecutive games. Eaton is batting .448 (39-for-87) during the on-base streak and .490 (24-for-48) during the hitting streak.

Off-beat: Flowers now knows what Adam Dunn can attest to from the last homestand: The top of the U.S. Cellular Field wall is not your friend. Flowers bounced a drive to right field off the top of the wall and directly into the air in the third inning before the ball returned to the field of play. He ended up with a triple. Dunn had a similar play last month; that drive not only hit the top of the wall and bounced up, but the ball also came down on the top of the wall again before falling back onto the warning track. Dunn ended up with a double.

Up next: The White Sox will send left-hander John Danks (9-6, 4.50 ERA) to the mound Tuesday in the middle game of the three-game series. The Rangers will counter with right-hander Colby Lewis (7-8, 5.98) in the 7:10 p.m. CT start from U.S. Cellular Field.

Rapid Reaction: White Sox 3, Rangers 2

August, 24, 2013

The Rangers' nine-game road winning streak ended in disappointing fashion as the Chicago White Sox walked off with a 3-2 victory on Saturday night at U.S. Cellular Field.

Scheppers loses it: Tanner Scheppers struggled for the second straight outing. He gave up three singles in the bottom of the ninth, including a pair with two outs. Dayan Viciedo had a single to put the winning run at third base. Josh Phegley followed with the walk off single to left field in his first at-bat of the night.

AL West race: The Rangers lead fell to 2 1/2 games in the American League West with the loss. Oakland won 2-1 at Baltimore on Saturday on Coco Crisp's home run in the ninth inning.

White Sox connection: The Rangers took a 2-0 lead in the top of the sixth as their two former White Sox making their return to the Windy City combined to get on the scoreboard. Catcher A.J. Pierzynski had a bloop single to right field with two outs. Right fielder Alex Rios then connected for a two-run home run on a long drive down the left-field line. It was Rios first home run in his 12th game as a Ranger.

ChiSox tie it up: Yu Darvish couldn't get a shutdown inning in the bottom of the sixth, giving up a two-out, two-run home to Adam Dunn, his 29th of the season.

Yu struggles with fastball: Darvish didn't have his fastball command on Saturday night and still gave up only six hits and two runs. He had 11 strikeouts, giving him 225 for the season, four more than he had last season. The 225 K's are the third-most in franchise history.

Cotts does work: Left-hander Neal Cotts had a 1-2-3 bottom of the eighth with two strikeouts. Cotts fanned Dunn to end the inning. Cotts has struck out 37 in his 34 innings.

Martin injured: Center fielder Leonys Martin appeared to injure his right ankle when he collided with left fielder David Murphy in the bottom of the ninth. Murphy was able to make the catch for the first out of the inning. Martin came out of the game, but it wasn't a pronounced limp. Mitch Moreland moved to right field, Alex Rios to center field and Adam Rosales came in to play first base.

Up next: The Rangers finish a three-game series in Chicago as right-hander Matt Garza (9-2, 3.81 ERA) versus left-hander John Danks (3-1, 4.22) at 1:10 p.m. on Fox Sports Southwest and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and 1540-AM.

What now without Nelson Cruz?

August, 5, 2013

What now without Nelson Cruz, who has accepted a 50-game suspension for his involvement in the Biogenesis case?

Fitzsimmons and Durrett react to Nelson Cruz's suspension and discuss the impact his absence will have on the Rangers' lineup, what players need to step up and the team's playoff hopes.

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Rangers manager Ron Washington said Sunday that center fielder Craig Gentry will receive the bulk of the playing time if Cruz is suspended for the rest of the regular season. That would push Leonys Martin to right field.

The Rangers will also make a roster move Monday to replace their All-Star outfielder. The likely candidate to be called up is Triple-A outfielder Joey Butler, who is batting .291 for Round Rock. The 27-year-old Butler is batting .321 with a .532 slugging percentage against left-handed pitching this season.

Butler is in his third season with Triple-A Round Rock and has never broken through to the big leagues. In an interesting aside, Cruz spent five seasons in Triple-A from 2004-08 and was considered a "Class 4A" player before belting 33 home runs for the Rangers in 2009.

Butler could finally get his chance because of a player who was in a similar place in his career at the same age.

The Rangers also could bring up left-handed-hitting Engel Beltre. They are not planning on bringing up Manny Ramirez, who is still with Triple-A Round Rock.

Knowing Cruz is gone for the last 50 games of the regular season could force the Rangers to make a waiver-period trade.

They could look again to the Chicago White Sox for Alex Rios or Adam Dunn, or to the Minnesota Twins and outfielder Josh Willingham.

Willingham is starting a rehab assignment on Monday with Triple-A Rochester, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and is expected to rejoin the Twins on Friday for a doubleheader against the White Sox.

W2W4: Rangers vs. White Sox

April, 30, 2013
The Texas Rangers and Chicago White Sox play their only three-game series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington beginning Tuesday night.

Ron Washington joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss Yu Darvish, the Rangers' recent losses and if the notion that the team looked fatigued is warranted this early in the season.

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The White Sox will throw three quality starters at the Rangers -- left-handers Jose Quintana (2-0, 2.78 ERA) and Chris Sale (2-2, 4.09) and right-hander Jake Peavy (3-1, 3.38). The Rangers will counter with Yu Darvish (4-1, 1.65) on Tuesday night, followed by rookie right-handers Nick Tepesch (2-1, 2.53) and Justin Grimm (2-0, 1.59).

Here's some other things to look for:

Strong starting pitching: The White Sox's starting rotation has been the team's strength. Sox starters have a 3.03 ERA over the last 13 games with a 5-3 record during that span. Peavy is tied for sixth in the American League with 39 strikeouts. Overall, Chicago is fourth in the AL with a 3.60 team ERA. The Rangers are first with a 3.02 ERA.

Where's the offense?: The White Sox are last in the AL in batting average at .229 and 13th out of 15 teams with a .382 slugging percentage. They are last in the AL in runs (83), walks (54) and hitting with runners in scoring position (.188). The White Sox have scored two runs or less seven times this season. They've been held to five or fewer hits seven times, too.

Pair of sluggers: Paul Konerko and Adam Dunn rank fourth and fifth among active players in home runs. Konerko, who is fourth, hit his 426th home run Sunday, putting him in a tie for 45th overall behind Chicago Cubs great Billy Williams. Dunn has 411 home runs, ranking him 48th all-time, three behind Darrell Evans. Konerko and Dunn have combined for nine home runs this season.

Sox look for 2012 repeat: The White Sox had a 6-3 record against the Rangers in 2012, their first season series victory over Texas since 2004. Chicago won five straight games in July, including a three-game sweep at U.S. Cellular Field on July 3-5. The Rangers and White Sox split six games at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Rangers' offense finds a way to score

July, 29, 2012
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Most of the time, it's not a good idea to try to score from third on a ball that is in barely in front of the plate, but when Nelson Cruz decided to give it a shot in the fifth inning of Sunday's 2-0 win over the Chicago White Sox, it was the right call.

The Texas Rangers were leading 1-0 at the time and Cruz was on third with Michael Young at the plate with one out.

Young hit a tapper in front of the plate that was fielded by White Sox pitcher Gavin Floyd, who looked at Cruz before throwing Young out at first. As soon as Floyd turned away from Cruz, he began darting towards the plate. White Sox first baseman Adam Dunn had a chance to throw Cruz out, but the throw bounced in the dirt allowing Texas to take a 2-0 advantage.

"It was simple," Cruz said of the aggressive baserunning. "When he looked at me, I gave him my little shuffle. When he threw the ball, I just went."

A good throw from Dunn would have had Cruz out easily, but it was a risk worth taking.

The Rangers' offense was 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position Sunday, extending the team's streak to 29 straight at-bats with runners in scoring position without a hit. Texas was 1-for-31 in those situations in the weekend's three-game series. Cruz knew he had to make something happen.

"I wanted to be aggressive," he said. "We needed the extra base and needed to do whatever we could to score an extra run."

The offense obviously has a long way to go, but it took a small step in the right direction Sunday.

"We don't always have to get the big hit," David Murphy said. "We steal runs here and there when we can. Tonight, we did it. We'll be the dynamic offense where we get the big hits, but tonight, we put runs on the board whenever we could."

The Rangers scored its first run of the night with some help from the White Sox. Mike Napoli grounded to Chicago shortstop Alexei Ramirez and it would've left runners on first and third, but Ramirez bobbled the ball, allowing a Texas run to score.

It was that kind of night for the Rangers. They needed some things to go their way with the offense struggling and they did. So while it might not seem like much, it was a positive game. This offense did not take advantage of opportunities with runners at third with less than two outs in the first two games of this series, but Sunday, they put the ball in play and gave themselves a chance.

"For the most part, we had some good at-bats," Young said. "We worked some deep counts. We didn't necessarily finish off some of those at-bats the way we want to, but we're getting there. ... I think our approach was better, and that's key. Things haven't gone our way over the past couple of weeks, but we expect to turn it around."

Adam Dunn feels Josh Hamilton's pain

July, 28, 2012
Can you imagine if Josh Hamilton had a season-long slump? Adam Dunn has a pretty good idea what Hamilton is going through at the plate based on a terrible 2011 season, his first with the Chicago White Sox. The Sox's designated hitter planned to seek out Hamilton -- his teammate with the Cincinnati Reds in 2007 -- before Saturday's game and share some tips about how to break out of the slump.

White Sox slugger Adam Dunn talks about Josh Hamilton's struggles, playing for Robin Ventura and more.

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"You need to take a step back and kind of realize 'I don't stink. I'm not done.' He's so talented that sometimes you forget how talented you are," Dunn shared in an interview for Rangers Baseball Tonight, the Rangers' radio network pregame show.

"This is a feel game. He might come in tomorrow and just go on one of his unbelievable runs. It wouldn't surprise me a bit," Dunn said. "Hitting is a lot about confidence and it's feel, and he doesn't have either one of those right now or he wouldn't be doing what he's doing. He's just way too talented."

In 122 games played last season, which was Dunn's first with the White Sox, he batted just .159 with 11 home runs and 42 RBI. His on-base percentage (.292) and slugging percentage (.277) were well below his career averages. This season, Dunn has 30 home runs and already has more walks than all of last season (77 to 75).

As for Hamilton, He is batting .206 in his last 55 games. He is enduring a career-worst stretch with runners in scoring position at 0-for-19. Furthermore, Hamilton is leading the majors with a 36.2 percent swing-and-miss percentage.

Dunn talked at length about Hamilton, his brief time as a quarterback at the University of Texas, his impression of Yu Darvish, his running game, playing for Robin Ventura and more.

Listen to the podcast.

Lack of execution hurts Rangers

July, 28, 2012
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers battled throughout, but a lack of execution ultimately sealed their fate as the Chicago White Sox took the first game of the three-game series 9-5 on Friday night.

Early on, it looked as though it was going to be the Rangers' night as they scored four runs in the first, including the first run of the game that was scored with perfect small ball execution. Ian Kinsler was hit by a pitch and stole second, and Elvis Andrus moved him to third with a ground ball to the right side. Josh Hamilton drove him in with a sacrifice fly.

It was exactly what the Texas offense has been lacking. It could've been a turning point.

Instead, it was just the opposite.

Texas had multiple mishaps in the field and at the plate that put the Rangers in some tough spots. Those mistakes also gave Yu Darvish his first loss in the U.S. or in Japan when having at least four runs of support. Going into Friday's game, Darvish was 59-0 in 63 starts when getting that kind of run support.

"It was one of those games that wasn't as clean as we would like it to be," Michael Young said. "We'll come back tomorrow and make some adjustments."

The Rangers failed to execute at various points in the game, such as:

* Nelson Cruz highlighted the Texas four-run first inning, but that lead was short-lived. Darvish turned around and gave up a two-run home run to Kevin Youkilis. The right-handed rookie had Youkilis in a 0-2 count with two outs when giving up the blast.

"Giving up the home run was a very big part of the game," Darvish said through translator Joe Furukawa. "It was a big unfortunate part of the game."

* In the fourth inning, White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham hit a ball into left-center that should've been a single. However, Josh Hamilton looked as though he didn't expect Beckham to try for second and fielded the ball lackadaisically, allowing Beckham to slide safely into second base. The next batter hit a single that scored both the runner on third and Beckham.

* The Rangers had an opportunity to score in the fifth when Craig Gentry and Kinsler reached base with a hit by pitch and walk, respectively, to lead off the inning. Andrus was unable to get a bunt down and dug himself in a two-strike hole. The Rangers shortstop was squared around to bunt again with two strikes, but he took a called third strike. Hamilton and Adrian Beltre also struck out to end the threat.

* When Alexi Ogando entered the game with one out in the seventh inning, he did not pay attention to Adam Dunn, who was standing on first, and Dunn made him pay. Dunn stole second -- his second stolen base of the season -- and advanced to third on a throwing error by catcher Yorvit Torrealba. Dunn later scored the sixth and winning run of the game.

* With a runner on first and two outs, Alex Rios doubled to left field. David Murphy overthrew Andrus, who was unable to make a relay throw to the plate to try to get the runner out at home. Andrus was charged with an error on the play because he dropped the throw, but a better throw from Murphy would've resulted in a play at the plate.

With all the miscues aside, the Rangers had plenty of opportunities to win the game, but they didn't.

"I wouldn't call it sloppy, manager Ron Washington said. "But we didn't execute like we need to."

Rapid Reaction: White Sox 5, Rangers 4 (10)

July, 4, 2012
Kevin Youkilis drove in Alejandro De Aza with the game-winning run in the bottom of the 10th Wednesday to lift the Chicago White Sox to their second straight win over the Texas Rangers.

The Rangers, losers of three straight overall, came out swinging to start the game. With two outs in the first inning, they collected four consecutive hits, including a two-run double to left-center from Michael Young and an RBI single to right by Nelson Cruz to take an early 3-0 lead.

That lead would be short-lived, however, as the the White Sox had five consecutive batters reach base in the second off Rangers starter Scott Feldman. After Alex Rios hit a one-out double to right, A.J. Pierzynski was hit on the right elbow by an 0-2 pitch. Dayan Viciedo and Alexei Ramirez followed with RBI singles, and Gordon Beckham (who was batting in the ninth spot and came in hitting .239) gave the White Sox a 4-3 lead with a two-run double to right.

Josh Hamilton evened the score at 4 when he led off the third inning with his 26th home run and major league leading 74th RBI. The game remained tied until Youklis drove in the game winner off Mike Adams.

For starters: After the Beckham double in the second inning, Feldman retired 10 consecutive batters until Youkilis singled with two outs in the fifth. Feldman gave up four runs on four hits in the second inning. In his five others innings, he allowed just one walk and two hits. After Michael Young's one-out single in the third, White Sox starter Dylan Axelrod retired the final 10 batters he faced.

Elvis-a-thon ends: Elvis Andrus had his 10-game hitting streak end with a 0-for-4 night. Andrus was 16-for-40 with five doubles, five walks, six RBIs and eight runs scored during the streak.

White Sox masher: Hamilton is now a .374 (37-for-99) career hitter versus the White Sox, his highest average against any American League team. He was 2-for-4 on Wednesday night.

Deep thoughts: Hamilton's third-inning home run gave him 26 this season, one more than he hit all of last season. Hamilton played in just 121 games last season because of injuries.

More like Mike: Young ended an 0-for-13 stretch with his two-run double in the first.

All-Star struck: When Alexei Ramirez delivered an RBI single to right field in the second inning, David Murphy delivered a one-hop throw to catcher Mike Napoli who was met in a collision with Pierzynski. Napoli could not hold onto the ball.

What a relief: Robbie Ross extended his scoreless innings stretch to 21 innings (14 appearances) and hasn't allowed an earned run in 28 1/3 innings. He struck out Adam Dunn looking with two on to end the seventh and retired all three batters he faced in the eighth. Ross now has a 0.99 ERA on the season. Adams worked more than one inning for the first time this season, but did not record an out in the 10th and took the loss.

Extras: The last time the Rangers played extra innings was May 26 when they beat Toronto 8-7 in 13 innings. The Rangers are 3-2 in extra innings this season.

Weekend rotation: Yu Darvish will not make his final scheduled start before the All-Star break so he can get some extra rest. The Minnesota Twins visit Arlington this weekend for a three-game series and LHP Martin Perez will start Friday, followed by LHP Derek Holland on Saturday and RHP Roy Oswalt on Sunday.

Rapid Reaction: White Sox 19, Rangers 2

July, 3, 2012
Roy Oswalt had a very rough third start, and the Texas Rangers had an even longer night on the south side of Chicago. Oswalt lasted 4 2/3 innings and was charged with 11 runs (nine earned) and 13 hits Tuesday night in the Rangers' 19-2 loss to the White Sox. It was his second consecutive start allowing that many hits. Oswalt drops to 2-1, and the Rangers have lost two straight games.

Kevin Youkilis hit his first home run as a member of the White Sox in the first inning to give Chicago a 2-0 lead. Adam Dunn followed with his eighth first-inning home run of the season and 25th overall. After Oswalt retired Paul Konerko for the first out, Alex Rios poked his 11th home run of the year. Oswalt faced eight batters in the first, and things didn't get much better in the second. He faced six more batters and gave up three more runs, including an RBI single by Konerko that pushed the White Sox lead to 7-0.

The Rangers were hitless against White Sox starter Chris Sale through 3 1/3 innings and managed just five hits against him in 7 1/3.

Meet me halfway: Tonight’s game was the 81st of the 162-game regular season schedule. The Rangers are 50-31, which is their best record ever at the midpoint. It's also the fifth consecutive season the Rangers have had a winning record through 81 games. The Rangers are 3-3 versus the White Sox this season.

Random stat: ESPN Stats and Information noted that Oswalt had struck out Adam Dunn 28 times in 95 plate appearances entering Tuesday's game. That’s the most strikeouts in any active batter-pitcher matchup. However, Dunn was 2-for-2 against Oswalt on Tuesday with a solo home run, an RBI double and a walk.

Roy-O vs. Chicago: Oswalt had made two previous starts against the White Sox. He pitched six innings as a member of the Astros in a 14-inning White Sox win in Game 3 of the 2005 World Series. On June 25, 2006, Oswalt pitched seven innings of a 13-inning Astros win in interleague play.

Kinsler tops '11 error total: Ian Kinsler committed his 12th error of the season in the fifth inning. He made 11 errors all of last season.

Grimm relief: Justin Grimm made his first major league relief appearances after starting in his previous two outings. He pitched the Rangers' first 1-2-3 inning after entering the game in the sixth inning. But Grimm allowed three runs in an eight-batter seventh inning.

Elvis extends hit streak: Elvis Andrus extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a two-run double in the top of the eighth. He was 1-for-4 on Tuesday and is 16-for-40 with five doubles and six RBIs during the streak.

Dubious distinctions: The nine runs allowed in the fifth inning are the most allowed by the Rangers in an inning this season. The 19 runs scored are the most runs the White Sox have scored against the Rangers. The Rangers established a new high this season in hits allowed, surpassing the 20 given up in a 21-8 loss to the Mariners on May 30.

Another start?: Rangers manager Ron Washington said on Rangers Baseball Tonight (the radio network pregame show) that lefty Martin Perez likely get another start and that it will come either Friday or Saturday.

On the mend: Righties Alexi Ogando (right groin strain) and Neftali Feliz (right elbow inflammation) threw bullpens In Chicago before Tuesday's game. Feliz is eligible to come off the disabled list July 18. Ogando is already eligible to be activated.

Matchup: Roy Oswalt vs. Chris Sale

July, 3, 2012

ARLINGTON, Texas -- After a 10-game home stand, the Texas Rangers hit the road to take on the Chicago White Sox in a three-game series beginning Tuesday before returning home to finish out the first half of the season. The series opener features RHP Roy Oswalt vs. LHP Chris Sale at 7:10 p.m. on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/FSSW. A quick look at the matchup:

Oswalt (2-0, 4.26): The 34-year-old is making his third start of the season after making his Rangers debut in June. ... He has won both of his starts despite giving up a career-high 13 hits last Wednesday vs. the Detroit Tigers. ... The 13 hits tied the most hits ever allowed in a win in Rangers history. ... First time it had happened in 32 years. ... He was first Major League pitcher to allow at least five runs and 13 hits in a win since Manny Parra did for Milwaukee on Aug. 13, 2009, against San Diego. ... Only the second pitcher to win consecutive starts while giving up 9+ hits since the start of the 2011 season. ... Has faced the White Sox twice. ... First start was in Game 3 of the 2005 World Series with the Houston Astros, where he got a no-decision after giving up five runs on eight hits in six innings. ... Other start was June 25, 2006, in interleague play, which is his only other start at U.S. Cellular Field. ... Gave up two runs on five hits in seven innings but got a no-decision.

Sale (9-2, 2.27): The 23-year-old is making his 15th start and 16th appearance of the season. ... Was named to the American League All-Star team. ... He has won his last six decisions, including an impressive performance last Wednesday against the Minnesota Twins. ... In that outing, he gave up two runs on six hits with five strikeouts in seven innings of work. ... First on team in wins and ERA and second in strikeouts with 94. ... He is 4-2 with a 1.69 ERA at home this season. ... Threw his only complete game of the season June 3, giving up just two runs on five hits with two walks and eight strikeouts against the Seattle Mariners.

Hitters: Rangers are 3-for-13 (.231). ... Yorvit Torrealba is 1-for-1 with a double. ... Adrian Beltre is 1-for-2. ... Ian Kinsler is 0-for-2 with a walk and a strikeout. ... White Sox are 32-for-120 (.267) ... Adam Dunn is 20-for-81 (.247) with four home runs, a triple, eight doubles, 12 RBIs and 28 strikeouts. ... A.J. Pierzynski is 5-for-11 (.455) with a double and two RBIs. ... Orlando Hudson is 4-for-21 (.190) with a triple and two RBIs.

Up Next:

Wed. at CWS: RHP Scott Feldman (2-6, 6.13) vs. RHP Dylan Axelrod (0-1, 4.50), 6:10 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/FSSW
Thu. at CWS: LHP Matt Harrison (11-3, 3.16) vs. LHP Jose Quintana (3-1, 2.19), 1:10 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/FSSW

Derek Holland disappointed in his walks

April, 7, 2012
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Every pitcher knows that bad things seem to usually happen when two-out walks are issued. It's a major pitching no-no.

Derek Holland saw that up close Saturday. With the score tied at 1 in the top of the third, Holland made an error, failing to catch a one-hopper back at him on the mound. But he made up for it right after that by picking off Alejandro De Aza at first base. That should have been the boost needed to get the final out and move on to the fourth inning.

But Holland momentarily lost his control. He walked Brent Lillibridge on a 3-2 sinker that was low and got aggressive on Adam Dunn, getting ahead in the count 0-2. But he lost him, walking him on a 3-2 sinker that missed the zone. That garnered a visit from pitching coach Mike Maddux. He got ahead of Paul Konerko 0-2, but threw him an off-speed pitch over the plate and Konerko drilled it to the right-center gap to score two runs.

"That was really bad on my part and I’m really upset about that," Holland said. "That’s the big thing going out there and giving up free passes. You never want to go out there and give up free bases. One pitch got away from me. It’s not exactly where I wanted to throw it. It is the pitch I wanted to throw but I just didn’t it in the right spot."

Holland ended up with a quality start -- three earned runs in six innings -- but the 29-pitch third shortened his outing and forced the Rangers to play catch-up for the second time in the game.

Texas scored three runs for Holland, a rarity for him. They hadn't scored that few with Holland on the mound since last August. He led the league in run support at 7.64 per nine innings in 2011.

Reaction: Neftali Feliz focused on off-speed

March, 8, 2012

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Neftali Feliz's focus this spring is his off-speed stuff. To be a successful starter, the 23-year-old can't rely on that very fast fastball.

Rangers skipper Ron Washington comments on Neftali Feliz's first Cactus League start, as well as his impressions of the rest of the pitching staff. He also explains why he needs Josh Hamilton to stay healthy.

Listen Listen
"What I wanted to do today was work on locating my off-speed stuff," Feliz said through an interpreter. "That's my goal."

The White Sox beat the Rangers, 6-3.

In his first Cactus League inning of the spring, Feliz's command wasn't there. He wasn't able to get his slider or changeup over for strikes consistently, and hitters waited on the fastball.

White Sox third baseman Brent Morel fell behind 0-2 after watching some fastballs, but then worked the count even before belting a single. Dayan Viciedo hit an off-speed pitch for a double before Adam Dunn crushed a 1-2 fastball (93 mph) over the right-center field wall to give Chicago a 3-0 lead. Feliz did bear down, elevating a fastball at 94 mph to get Tyler Flowers (after getting a swing and miss on a slider earlier in the at-bat) and then striking out Kosuke Fukudome with a slider (85) to end the inning.

But the second inning was a different story. Feliz came back to the mound and looked committed to throwing down in the zone. The command was there and he needed just eight pitches to get three outs (he needed 28 to get through the first).

"I got the ball down and it was better," Feliz said. "I wasn't worried about results."

He threw two sliders to Gordon Beckham that resulted in one swing and miss and a fly out to left field. Feliz started left-handed hitting Dan Johnson off with off-speed stuff before throwing some heat at 92 mph to get a ground ball to second. And Eduardo Escobar grounded out to second on the second pitch he saw, a 91 mph fastball.

[+] EnlargeNaftali Feliz
Jake Roth/US PresswireNeftali Feliz needed just eight pitches to get through the second inning after throwing 28 in the first.
Feliz isn't trying to dial up the fastball right now, a good sign. He's building up arm strength, but working on his command and the off-speed stuff. His changeup looked better in the intrasquad game (it was slower by a few mph then, too), but he continues to try to develop the off-speed stuff and will do so all spring.

"I know there's more in there when I need it," Feliz said.

Feliz figures he can throw the fastball 95 to 97 mph, but isn't doing that now because his focus remains the off-speed stuff.

Dunn dominates: Dunn had a homer off Feliz in the first and then a double off Michael Kirkman in the second. Both hits were on fastballs over the plate. Kirkman's was at 94 mph.

Last year, Dunn hit .159 and had 177 strikeouts. He was particularly ineffective against left-handed pitchers, hitting .064 (94 at-bats) with no homers and 39 strikeouts. In fact, he had just one extra-base hit against lefties in 2011.

Kirkman struggles: The left-hander, a candidate for a bullpen job this spring, gave up three runs on four hits in two innings, including a two-run homer by Beckham. Of the 11 batters Kirkman faced, five were left-handed hitters. They were 2-for-4 with a walk off him, including Dunn's double and a double by Fukudome.

Quick feet: Ian Kinsler went to cover the bag as Alejandro De Aza was on the move from first in the fourth. A ground ball was then hit toward where Kinsler had just vacated. The second baseman quickly scampered back to his left, scooped up the grounder and threw to first to end the fourth inning.

Red-hot SS: Elvis Andrus started his day with yet another hit and then added to it with a double in his final at-bat. He's having a ridiculous first week of spring training and is now 7-for-10 with two doubles and a triple.

Walk in the park: Chicago pitcher Gregory Infante walked three Ranger batters in the fourth before he was lifted. Josh Hamilton led off the inning with a walk and scored on Nelson Cruz's single. Mike Napoli and Mike Olt also walked.

Quick reaction: Olt got his glove up in a hurry to get to a liner hit by Beckham to end the fifth.

Utility infield: Luis Hernandez, one of the utility infield candidates, was 2-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored as he replaced Andrus late in the game.



Adrian Beltre
.324 19 77 79
HRA. Beltre 19
RBIA. Beltre 77
RA. Beltre 79
OPSA. Beltre .879
WC. Lewis 10
ERAC. Lewis 5.18
SOY. Darvish 182