Texas Rangers: AL Wild Card

Lineups: Adrian Beltre at 3B, Craig Gentry in CF

October, 5, 2012
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington is going with his primarily right-handed lineup against LHP Joe Saunders. That includes Craig Gentry in the outfield and Michael Young at first base. It means Mitch Moreland and David Murphy are on the bench. Murphy had been playing more against left-handed pitchers, but Washington felt he wanted Gentry to play center field and get a chance to hit Saunders.

"He's not swinging the bat like he was earlier," Washington said of Murphy against left-handers. "My main thing today was I just wanted to get those young legs of Gentry out there running the ball down in center field and give Hamilton a little break on the other side. I tried to put as many righties in there as I possibly could against Saunders."

In fact, Hamilton is the only left-handed hitter in the lineup today.

The lineup:

2B Ian Kinsler
SS Elvis Andrus
LF Josh Hamilton (L)
3B Adrian Beltre
RF Nelson Cruz
1B Michael Young
DH Mike Napoli
C Geovany Soto
CF Craig Gentry

LF Nate McLouth (L)
SS J.J. Hardy
RF Chris Davis (L)
CF Adam Jones
C Matt Wieters (S)
DH Jim Thome (L)
1B Mark Reynolds
2B Ryan Flaherty (L)
3B Manny Machado

Orioles player to watch: Chris Davis

October, 5, 2012
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Chris Davis stood in the middle of the visiting clubhouse at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on Thursday and smiled.

Ben and Skin set the scene for tonight's Rangers game by covering every angle possible including the story of the night: Yu Darvish.

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He was happy to be home and happy to be getting a taste of the postseason. He does it as an integral part of the Baltimore Orioles' lineup.

"It's great. I get to sleep in my own bed," Davis said. "I think it helped playing here in August to get all the emotions out, obviously a place I was here for awhile. After being traded, I turned the page."

And his career has turned a corner. Davis has been outstanding this season, finally putting together a complete season instead of just flashes of the power he had in Texas. Davis hit .270 with a team-high 33 homers and 85 RBIs in 139 games. Davis finished with seven homers in the final seven games of the season, including hitting a homer in six straight games.

Davis wasn't going to get an opportunity to see regular playing time, which was part of the reason the trade with Baltimore made so much sense. The Rangers got Koji Uehara, who has been one the club's best relievers the past month and could be in position to pitch in some critical situations tonight and in the postseason. Davis got the chance to make some mistakes and learn from them with regular playing time in Baltimore. And he's taken advantage.

"It’s been a great fit," Davis said. "I think I kind of wore out my welcome in Texas, so to speak. I was doing everything I could to hang on, but after those guys signed (Adrian) Beltre, Mike Napoli, I kind of saw the writing on the wall. I have no hard feelings. I’m very appreciative of the fact they gave me a chance to go play somewhere else."

Davis is certainly a player Yu Darvish will have to watch tonight. He's still prone to the strikeout -- 169 of them this season -- but he can also crush mistakes. It should be fun to see how he does back at the ballpark in a huge game tonight.

Umpires: Gary Darling to call balls and strikes

October, 5, 2012
Gary Darling, who has 26 years of MLB experience, will lead the umpiring crew assigned to Friday’s American League wild-card game between the Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles in Arlington.

Darling’s crew will include regular-season crew chief Jerry Layne, Ted Barrett, Bill Miller, Greg Gibson and Chris Guccione.



Yu Darvish
10 3.06 182 144
BAA. Beltre .327
HRA. Beltre 17
RBIA. Beltre 68
RA. Beltre 68
OPSA. Beltre .880
ERAY. Darvish 3.06
SOY. Darvish 182