Texas Rangers: Chicago White Sox

Rapid Reaction: White Sox 5, Rangers 2

August, 25, 2013

The Texas Rangers lost again in Chicago, falling 5-2 to the White Sox on Sunday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field. Texas has lost seven of its past eight games at The Cell.

Treading water:The Rangers held onto their 2 1/2-game lead in the American League West as the Oakland A's lost at Baltimore 10-3 on Sunday afternoon. Oakland has four games next at AL Central leader Detroit, while the Rangers head to Seattle for three games.

Garza disappoints: Matt Garza failed the Rangers in a big way Sunday. Needing a strong start with the series on the line, he had a disappointing day. He allowed two home runs and five runs in all. After the offense tied the game in the top of the fourth, Garza didn't give his team a shutdown inning, allowing the third home run of the season to Jordan Danks. Garza also gave up a solo shot to Dayan Viciedo in the seventh. Garza has allowed at least four runs in five straight starts.

Rare error hurts: Craig Gentry is as trusted an fielder as the Rangers have, but he made a critical error in the bottom of the third to cost Garza a run. Gentry misjudged a line drive to center field by Gordon Beckham and the ball clanked off of his glove and two runs scored to put the Rangers down 2-0. The first run would have scored on a sacrifice fly, as the ball was hit deep enough to score at least one.

Baker provided offense: Jeff Baker has his home run swing back. He belted a two-run home run to tie the game at 2-2 in the top of the fourth. Baker had two long balls in the three-game series, ending a 16-game homerless streak on Friday. The Rangers have 21 HRs and 59 RBIs from the first base position this season.

Beltre comes up empty: Twice Adrian Beltre batted with a runner at third and one out and didn't drive in a run. With the Rangers trailing 3-2 in the top of the fifth, Beltre had first and third with one out and lined out sharply to White Sox third baseman Jeff Keppinger, who doubled up Elvis Andrus at third base. Then with Texas trailing 4-2 and the bases loaded with one out in the seventh inning -- after Chicago shortstop Alexei Ramirez booted a double-play ball -- Beltre hit into a 5-4-3 twin killing to end the Rangers' last threat.

Ross is effective: Robbie Ross provided a positive on Sunday. He pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning, striking out Jordan Danks for the third out.

Up next: The Rangers open a three-game series on the road at Seattle and Safeco Field. The pitching matchups are: Monday, Texas left-hander Travis Blackley (1-1, 4.85 ERA) versus Seattle left-hander Joe Saunders (10-12, 4.91) at 9:10 p.m.; Saturday, left-hander Derek Holland (9-6, 2.95) versus right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma (12-6, 2.98) at 9:10 p.m.; and Sunday, left-hander Martin Perez (7-3, 3.62) versus right-hander Felix Hernandez (12-7, 2.63) at 2:40 p.m. All games are on Fox Sports Southwest and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and 1540-AM.

Matchup: Matt Garza vs. John Danks

August, 25, 2013
The Rangers go for the series win on Sunday afternoon as right-hander Matt Garza faces Chicago White Sox left-hander John Danks at 1:10 p.m. on Fox Sports Southwest and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and 1540-AM.

Garza (9-2, 3.59): The Rangers are 5-1 in Garza's six starts, even though he has allowed four earned runs or more in his last four outings ... Garza will have his fourth season of his career with 10 victories if he wins Sunday ... It will be his first since going 10-10 in 2011 ... He is 8-1 with a 2.74 ERA for 12 starts for the Rangers and Cubs going back to June 16 ... Garza is 2-1 with a 5.60 ERA for August ... He allowed five earned runs in 6 2/3 innings in a 16-5 victory over Houston ... He did give up four runs with the Rangers leading 15-1 in the seventh as he tried to save the bullpen from throwing an extra inning ... Garza beat the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field in July pitching for the Cubs, allowing on earned run in seven innings ... He allowed a solo home run to Josh Phegley, who had the walk off winner Saturday night ... Garza is 3-0 with a 2.89 for five career starts at U.S. Cellular.

Danks (3-10, 4.22): Danks, a former Rangers' first-round pick from Austin, had eight shutout innings Tuesday against the Kansas City Royals ... He allowed seven hits and issued one walk in a 2-0 victory over the Royals ... He didn't allow a base runner to reach third base ... Danks is 1-2 with a 3.18 ERA in August ... He's allowed 22 home runs in 111 innings ... Danks is 2-4 with a 4.04 at home ... He will make his first start this season against the Rangers.

Hitters: Paul Konerko is 7-for-15 with three home runs and seven RBIs against Garza. The current White Sox are batting .299 against the Rangers' right-hander.

Matchup: Yu Darvish vs. Hector Santiago

August, 24, 2013
The Rangers try to extend their winning streak to five games when ace right-hander Yu Darvish faces Chicago White Sox left-hander Hector Santiago at 6:10 p.m. Saturday night at U.S. Cellular Field. The game can be seen on Fox Sports Southwest and on radio on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and 1540-AM.

Darvish (12-5, 2.68): Darvish has placed himself in the American League Cy Young conversation by going 4-1 with a 1.73 ERA since coming off the disabled list July 22 ... His only loss in that span was a 1-0 defeat ... Darvish took a no decision as the Rangers lost 4-3 to Seattle on Sunday ... He threw 120 pitches and came back out for the eighth inning and allowed two base runners ... He matched a season-high with four walks ... Darvish has a major league-best 10 starts of six-plus innings allowing three hits or less, already tied with the Rangers best single season by Nolan Ryan in 1989 ... Darvish leads the majors with 214 strikeouts ... His opponents batting average of .189 is the best in the American League ... He is 1-1 with a 6.57 ERA against the White Sox, his highest ERA against any opponent ... Darvish will make his first start at U.S. Cellular Field.

Santiago (4-7, 3.27): Santiago won his first start since June 21, beating the Minnesota Twins on Sunday ... He allowed one earned run on nine hits in six innings of work as the ChiSox won 5-2 ... Santiago is 1-1 with a 3.04 ERA for August ... He is 1-3 with 4.03 ERA at home ... He has allowed seven home runs in 58 innings at U.S. Cellular Field ... Santiago could slow down the Rangers running game ... He has allowed six stolen bases and runners have been caught stealing five times with him on the mound in 123 2/3 innings ... He won his only start against the Rangers back in May, allowing a run 5 1/3 innings ... He gave up two hits and had six strikeouts and two walks.

Hitters: Ian Kinsler is 2-for-4 against Santiago, who has held the current Rangers to a .115 batting average. Paul Konerko is 2-for-3 with an RBI against Darvish.

A.J. Pierzynski returns to South Side

August, 23, 2013
CHICAGO -- Former Chicago White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski returned to the South Side of Chicago Friday night for the first time since leaving as a free agent after the 2012 season.

Now with the first-place Texas Rangers, Pierzynski, who spent eight seasons with Chicago beginning in 2005, will always be associated with that world championship White Sox team.

“This was home for a long time for me,” Pierzynski said. “Both of my children were born here. It is unfortunate that things happen, but I ended up in a pretty darn good place.”

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W2W4: Rangers vs. White Sox

August, 23, 2013
RANGERS (74-53, first place/AL West) vs. Chicago White Sox (51-74, fifth place/AL Central)

Friday: LHP Martin Perez (6-3, 3.48) vs. LHP Chris Sale (9-11, 2.78), 7:10 p.m.

Saturday: RHP Yu Darvish (12-5, 2.68) vs. LHP Hector Santiago (4-7, 3.27), 6:10 p.m.

Sunday: RHP Matt Garza (9-2, 3.81) vs. LHP John Danks (3-10, 4.22), 1:10 p.m.

ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the Rangers' aggressive style of play and bullpen struggles.

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Break up the White Sox: The Rangers best not take the White Sox for granted. Chicago is riding the high of a season-best six-game winning streak after taken the final three games of a series against Minnesota and then sweeping Kansas City. The White Sox still have a putrid record 51-74 record and start Friday 21 1/2 games behind Detroit in the AL Central. Chicago extended its winning streak with a 4-3 victory in 12 innings against the Royals. Conor Gillaspie hit a home run in the 12th inning and closer Addison Reed closed out the win.

For starters: The White Sox starting pitchers have been on a hot streak too, and have been solid all season led by Sale. Chicago starters have a 6-1 record and a 2.52 ERA for their last 10 games. Going back further, they are 8-7 with a 3.14 ERA for their last 27 games. They have a total of 19 quality starts during that span. Chicago starters are second in the AL with a 3.80 ERA.

Leaning left: The White Sox are throwing three left-handed starters in this series with Sale, Santiago and Danks. The Rangers have won seven straight games against left-handed starters after beating Houston's Erik Bedard on Wednesday. The only lefty to beat the Rangers in the last 12 games against a southpaw was Baltimore's Wie-Yin Chin, who won twice in a nine-day span in July. The Rangers lost consecutive games to Sale and Santiago on May 1 and 2.

Playing spoiler: The White Sox are in a stretch where they are playing 23 of their 26 games against teams with winning records, starting with Kansas City on Tuesday and now with the first-place Rangers on Friday. They will play the three teams in the first place in the AL -- Boston, Detroit and Texas. The White Sox are 9-10 against those teams this season, which includes winning two out of three from the Rangers April 30-May 2.

Windy City homecoming:
Rangers catcher A.J. Pierzynski and right fielder Alex Rios will play for the first time as an opposing player at U.S. Cellular Field since coming to the Rangers. Pierzynski, signed in the offseason as a free agent, played the previous eight seasons with Chicago, helping the White Sox win the 2005 World Series. Pierzynski has 14 home runs and 54 RBIs. Rios of course came to the Rangers in a trade two weeks ago. Rios is batting .273 with three RBIs and six runs scored since the Aug. 9 trade.

Garcia is player to be named later

August, 11, 2013
HOUSTON -- The Texas Rangers made it official during the eighth inning of Sunday's game in Houston -- Triple-A Round Rock infielder Leury Garcia is the player to be named later in the Alex Rios deal.

The Astros didn't put in a claim on Garcia, so he was awarded to the Chicago White Sox to complete Friday's trade.

Rios, who played in his first game for Texas on Saturday night, has RBI hits in each of his first two games.

Rios happy to be playing for something

August, 10, 2013
HOUSTON -- The Texas Rangers are in first place, and so is Alex Rios.

It's a big change for Rios, who was playing for the last-place Chicago White Sox on Friday and now is in the lineup for the Rangers on Saturday. Texas can own sole possession of first place with a win against Houston on Saturday night.

"I sense he's happy to be playing for something," said Rangers manager Ron Washington, who had a chance to welcome Rios on Saturday.

Rios, who, at 32, is the third-longest tenured player in the big leagues who hasn't played in the postseason, is more than ready to change that.

"It's something that you don't want to be proud of," Rios said. "You want to be one of the players that have been in the playoffs and won in the playoffs. Hopefully, I can achieve that here."

The White Sox started Saturday with a 43-71 record, 25 games behind Detroit. The Rangers are 66-50 and a half-game ahead of Oakland after the A's lost to Toronto on Saturday.

That's a 22-game change in the standings for Rios, who admitted that it's been difficult to stay motivated during these dog days of August.

Now it won't be.

"It's tough," Rios said. "Because, obviously, you want to win. And when you go to the field without motivation, it makes it so much harder to focus and do the stuff you're supposed to do without thinking. A little bit of pressure is good for every player."

Rios dispelled any notion that he doesn't play hard all the time. Scouts love his talent, but as one said after Rios was traded to the Rangers on Friday, "he can be hard on the eyes at times." The scout also said this was a "good deal" for Texas.

Rios is having a solid season, batting .277 with 12 home runs, 55 RBIs and 26 stolen bases. He has eight outfield assists.

"I go hard about my business," Rios said. "I like to win. We all like to win. It's going to take all your effort to win games. That's what I do. I take a lot of pride in what I do. Hopefully, I can bring some good to this team."

He's not putting pressure on himself to replace Nelson Cruz in right field. Cruz, suspended for the rest of the regular season, was the Rangers' leader in home runs and RBIs when he stopped playing on Monday.

Rios can throw and has some pop, but he's not the bomber that Cruz is, and he's OK with that.

"I don't think it's fair to compare me to him," Rios said. "We play different games. Each ballplayer is different. I'm just going to focus on the things I need to do and stay within my game. That's the only thing I want to focus on."

Rios should be able to fit into the Rangers' current mad-dash approach on the basepaths. They have stolen 14 bases in the past three games.

Second baseman Ian Kinsler had a key stolen base in the eighth inning on Friday and ended up scoring the tying run during a four-run inning in which the Rangers took a 7-4 lead.

"I can run," Rios said. "I can steal some bases if I have the chance. I am going to try to [do] my best to take advantage of the things the other teams are going to give us and take the extra bases."

He's happy to be a part of a new team and excited for the opportunity.

"It's refreshing for myself, for my career and for my family, too," Rios said. "It's something as a player you look forward to. You want to go deep into the playoffs and try and win a ring. We have that chance here. We have a team that is contending. Let's see what happens."

What does Rios signing mean for Cruz, Murphy?

August, 9, 2013

HOUSTON -- Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said Friday that there are many layers to the addition of Chicago White Sox outfielder Alex Rios.

One layer is the final 47 games of this season. The next is 2014.

ESPN Dallas' Todd Wills joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to react to the Rangers' trade for Alex Rios and discuss how it impacts the team down the stretch.

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Rios, acquired by the Rangers on Friday along with $1 million for a player to be named later or cash considerations, provides a veteran right-handed bat who can help ease the pain of the loss of Nelson Cruz, the team's home run and RBI leader, for the regular season.

Rios can help win now by bringing pop with 12 home runs, speed with 26 stolen bases and a strong arm in right field with eight outfield assists.

"I don’t think the void that Nelson left can be filled," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "[Alex] is a solid baseball player, and we just want him to come up here and play his game. He fits in well. He fits in extremely well."

Rios, also signed for $13 million in 2014, gives the Rangers a pair of outfielders to build around next season along with emerging center fielder Leonys Martin. Cruz and left fielder David Murphy are both free agents at the end of the season.

There are many questions about whether the Rangers will bring back Cruz, starting with his suspension for 50 games for the Biogenesis case and whether club truly wants to bring him back. Another is the price that Cruz might command on the free-agent market.

"It certainly adds a layer to it for us," Daniels said. "Not only does he help us this year, but we have guys who are going to be free agents who play corner run producing players, so he certainly fits the bill for us going forward."

Washington and Daniels both repeatedly said Friday on a conference call that Rios is a good fit for the Rangers. White Sox manager Robin Ventura benched him recently for not hustling on the bases, but the Rangers believe their culture will take care of that.

Rios will join a strong former teammate in A.J. Pierzynski, and the Rangers don't have a history of players not playing hard for Washington.

Washington was asked if he's concerned about Rios.

"No, being in this environment," Washington said. "I don't know the reasons behind [what happened in Chicago]. It happens to a lot of players. But that isn't anything that's going to stop us from moving forward or Alex."

Price was right for Alex Rios

August, 9, 2013

The Texas Rangers got a bat Friday, and they got it at a discount. It's a great move by general manager Jon Daniels and his staff, who picked up some offensive help at the price of a player to be named later, likely Leury Garcia, according to reports.

ESPN Dallas' Todd Wills joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to react to the Rangers' trade for Alex Rios and discuss how it impacts the team down the stretch.

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Alex Rios is now a Ranger. The right-handed-hitting outfielder from the White Sox has a .277 average. He's not the power hitter that Nelson Cruz is, but he has a solid track record at the plate and has added 26 stolen bases this season. The Rangers, who have done a nice job this week of attacking more on the bases and becoming more versatile on offense, get a guy who can fit right into that pattern.

Reports had the White Sox asking for two of the Rangers' top prospects back near July 31. Some reports said those two were Martin Perez and Luke Jackson, a ridiculous price for Rios. The Rangers, rightly, said no. But once the White Sox put Rios on waivers, the Rangers put in a claim and -- as the team with the worst record of those that put in the claim -- got the right to negotiate with the White Sox for 72 hours on a deal.

Chicago must have decided it didn't want Rios' long-term salary on the books and chose to at least get a player back in the process. Garcia showed he could play multiple positions and certainly has upside, but it's a deal that makes great sense for the Rangers to get an outfielder who isn't a rental.

With Cruz, who is suspended for the remainder of the regular season, and David Murphy set to be free agents at the end of the season, the Rangers are able to address an immediate need and think big-picture. Rios can slide right into an outfield spot next season, and the club has an option for 2015. A trade clause in his contract boosted his 2014 and 2015 salary, as well as the 2015 buyout, so he is owed $13 million next season and the remaining portion of his $12 million salary this season with a $2 million buyout for 2015. Still, I like this deal.

One scout described Rios as a 5-tool player, but with inconsistent use of those tools. He doesn't have the power of Cruz, but he does have speed and should be highly motivated coming to a winner in the midst of a pennant race. Yes, he isn't hitting home runs lately. But he's still getting hits and driving in some runs. Rios is not a guy you'll find working counts deep. But we've seen manager Ron Washington do a terrific job in finding the strengths of his players and utilizing them. He'll get the most that he can out of Rios. And it won't hurt to have former teammate A.J. Pierzynski in the Rangers' clubhouse too.

With Cruz out, I like this move. Do you?

Trade Target: Alex Rios

July, 25, 2013
We continue our "Trade Target" series, which also includes circling back to a few folks we've talked about over the last month. With Alex Rios back in the news with the Rangers interested (and they should be), let's look at him again.

Today's target: Alex Rios

Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzimmons and Durrett to discuss the Matt Garza trade and if the Rangers are done shopping before the deadline.

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Jon Daniels has talked about the lack of impact bats on the market (he discussed it again on Fitzsimmons and Durrett on Tuesday on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM). And he's not the only one that's noted that. But Rios is one of the few. He's got a track record, is under club control for the next few years and would give the club a right-handed bat in the outfield who is putting up solid numbers.

The beauty of Rios for the Rangers would be they'd get a 32-year-old player who can patrol the outfield for the next two years. Rios isn't cheap. He's making another $6 million or so this season, $12.5 million next season and has a $13.5 million club option for 2015. He also had six teams on his no-trade list, but reports over the past few weeks indicate the Rangers weren't on that list.

This wouldn't be merely a short-term option. Nelson Cruz could be staring at a 50-game suspension at some point, though it's unclear when that might be. Either way, he's a free agent after this season. David Murphy's contract expires too. So the Rangers are going to have to deal with adding to the outfield soon. They know they should consider doing that now, if they can.

Rios is batting .278 with 12 homers and 48 RBIs. He's hitting .308 against left-handed pitchers and can play the corner outfield spots (and even center field if needed, though he's played every game this season in right field).

To get a player under club control for that long, the Rangers would have to give up prospects. But the price tag of Rios' contract should allow them to avoid giving up many of the top ones. Could guys like Wilmer Font or Luis Sardinas be in the conversation? Probably. And some others. We'll see what kind of package it would take, but it might not be as costly as you think because of Rios' salary.

Rios would make this lineup better, which is why the Rangers are talking about it. He's not a huge name, but he would help this team now and in the future.

What are you giving up to get him?

Rangers report doesn't faze Alex Rios

July, 25, 2013
CHICAGO – With rumors starting to circulate Wednesday that the Texas Rangers are making a strong play to acquire Chicago White Sox outfielder Alex Rios, the veteran is taking things in stride.

He’s ignoring the constant updates about his status the best he can, but knows life will be much simpler once the July 31 deadline comes and goes.

“Yeah, it gets old,” Rios said. “When that date is arriving you get a little anxious to see what your fate is going to be. Hopefully after July 31 it is going to be normal.”

The only way Rios says he hears about teams that are interested is when the media in the clubhouse brings up the subject. On Wednesday he was told about the Rangers’ interest.

“I’m not thinking about that,” Rios said. “I’ve always said you can’t control it and I will land wherever they want me to land. There is not much I can do.”

Not thinking about trades and not letting them affect you are two entirely different departments. Since Rios started to be mentioned as possible trade bait way back in June, his performance seems to have suffered.

On June 22, Rios was batting .283 with a .340 on-base percentage and 473 slugging percentage in 71 games. In the 23 games since then, Rios has a .258/.295/.348 line that has been helped by seven hits (two for extra bases) over his last five games.

The Rangers apparently have noticed the recent resurgence.

“It’s a good thing when people want you to be part of a good thing, but at the same time you have mixed feelings,” Rios said. “You have spent so much time in an organization, you know pretty much everybody and you have to start over in another place. It’s tough. But it is what it is.”

At least publicly Rios isn’t saying if he thinks he will stay with the White Sox through the deadline or be moved in the upcoming days.

“I just have no idea what will happen,” he said. “Hopefully it’s for the good of both sides. Whatever happens, happens.”

Rangers look at Rios, right-hand hitters

July, 24, 2013
Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzimmons and Durrett to discuss the Matt Garza trade and if the Rangers are done shopping before the deadline.

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ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers continue to explore their options on the trade market for a right-handed hitter, with the focus on Chicago White Sox outfielder Alex Rios.

Rios is one of several hitters the Rangers are looking at, a major league source said, but nothing is imminent as far as a trade is concerned. Rios spoke to the media about trade interest from the Rangers and other clubs on Wednesday.

Other hitters on the market include Seattle switch-hitting designated hitter Kendrys Morales and San Francisco outfielder Hunter Pence.

Manager Ron Washington said before Wednesday's game with the New York Yankees that the Rangers could use a right-handed hitter in the lineup.

"We are left-handed heavy," Washington said. "We certainly want to add a big right-handed bat. What bat that will be, they're up there hunkered down right now trying to figure that out."

Rios came out hot to start the season, but his power numbers have dropped in June and July. He's batting .259 with two home runs and 16 RBIs in his last 35 games. He has a .307 on-base percentage since June 9.

Rios batted .289 with 10 home runs and 32 RBIs in his first 59 games.

The Rangers also have the possible concern of a suspension for right fielder Nelson Cruz, who is connected to the Biogenesis case.

Rapid Reaction: White Sox 3, Rangers 1

May, 2, 2013

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers' offense struggled on a cold night and starter Justin Grimm missed with one pitch as The Chicago White Sox won 3-1 at frigid Rangers Ballpark to hand Texas its first series loss of the season.

Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the Rangers' struggles at the plate, the pitching staff and what to make of the team early in the season.

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Offense flails: The Rangers had three hits, one Adrian Beltre's home run in the second inning. They were 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position with Beltre failing to come through in the first two situations. The Rangers had the tying runs on base in the ninth inning and Mitch Moreland struck out on three pitches and Leonys Martin fanned to end the game.

One pitch costs Grimm: Justin Grimm, earlier awarded American League Rookie of the Month, dominated the White Sox for most of the night, except for four walks. He was in cruise control until the top of the sixth before he gave up singles to Conor Gillaspie and Alexei Ramirez and a three-run home run on a curve ball that didn't bite enough to catcher Tyler Flowers, his fourth of the year. Grimm tied a career-high nine strikeouts and had retired 10 in a row before Gillaspie's hit.

Beltre's latest miss: Beltre accounted for the Rangers only run with a solo shot to start the second inning. But it was a big miss with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the sixth that stood out in this game. Beltre got down in the count and fisted a ground ball to third base for an inning-ending double play. He also had the tying runs on base in the bottom of the eighth and struck out on a 72-mph curve ball by Ranger nemesis Jesse Crain. Beltre is 4-for-34 with runners in scoring position.

Clean shave works: Left-handed reliever Michael Kirkman is clean shaven after allowing runs in four of his past six appearances. He faced one batter Thursday night in the seventh inning, Adam Dunn, and struck the slugger out on three pitches.

Dog night: There were 689 canines in attendance for Dog Night at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Overall attendance was 31,199 for a game that had a game time attendance of 43 degrees, the third coldest start in ballpark history.

Up next: The Rangers open a three-game series against the team with baseball's best record, the Boston Red Sox. Left-hander Derek Holland (1-2, 3.38 ERA) will face Red Sox left-hander Felix Doubront (3-0, 4.24) at 7:05 p.m. on Channel 21 and ESPN-FM 103.3 and 1540-AM.

Lineups: Jake Peavy scratched from start

May, 2, 2013
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Jake Peavy has been scratched for Thursday night's start against the Rangers because of back spasms, so the Rangers will see left-hander Hector Santiago instead.

ESPN senior MLB analyst Buster Olney joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the Rangers' strong start, Matt Harrison's additional back surgery and much more.

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It means the Rangers will face a left-handed starter for the third straight game. How this will impact the Rangers' lineup remains to be seen. David Murphy is supposed to start Thursday, but he has sat the last two nights with a left-handed starter going for the White Sox. It's also currently 46 degrees, which means the cold weather could impact designated hitter Lance Berkman and his sore knee and maybe catcher A.J. Pierzynski and his sore oblique (which he said was much improved after a pinch-hit appearance in Wednesday's game).

Santiago, a 23-year-old from Newark, N.J., is 0-1 with a 2.51 ERA in seven appearances. He will be making his first start of the season and fifth of his career. He appeared twice against the Rangers in 2012 and allowed a hit and no runs in two innings. Ian Kinsler had the lone hit out of seven Rangers' at-bats.

The 31-year-old Peavy is 3-1 with a 3.38 ERA for the season. He won his most recent start last Friday against Tampa Bay. But the two-time All-Star hasn't had great success against the Rangers, so Peavy being scratched might not be that big of a break.

Here are the lineups for Thursday's game:

2B Ian Kinsler
SS Elvis Andrus
DH Lance Berkman
3B Adrian Beltre
RF Nelson Cruz
C A.J. Pierzynski
LF Jeff Baker
1B Mitch Moreland
CF Craig Gentry
SP Justin Grimm

LF Alejandro De Aza
2B Jeff Keppinger
RF Alex Rios
1B Adam Dunn
DH Paul Konerko
3B Conor Gillaspie
SS Alexei Ramirez
C Tyler Flowers
CF Dewayne Wise
SP Hector Santiago

Soto says baserunning mistake was costly

May, 1, 2013
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers catcher Geovany Soto stood in front of his locker after a 5-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox and owned up to a mistake that was costly in Wednesday night's loss.

Randy Galloway, Matt Mosley and Glenn "Stretch" Smith discuss the first month of the 2013 season for the Rangers.

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Soto misjudged a line drive off the bat of Ian Kinsler with one out and the bases loaded with the Rangers trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the second. Mitch Moreland came home from third with the tying run, but Soto also should have scored from second base on a ball that caromed off the top of the out-of-town scoreboard in left field.

The Rangers didn't score any more runs in the inning and missed out on a chance to gain momentum against one of the American League's toughest pitchers, White Sox left-hander Chris Sale.

"I read the ball badly," Soto said. "I just thought he hit it with top spin when he hit the ball. I thought it was going to come up short and [Alejandro De Aza] was going to make a catch on the warning track, but it wasn't that way.

"I should have been halfway between the base line and see the result of the play and go accordingly. Even if he catches it, I'm still in scoring position. But he didn't. I should have scored on that play."

Sale was able to settle in and retire 10 straight Rangers after Kinsler's long single. Sale went seven innings, matching his season high with seven strikeouts. The Rangers didn't get another runner in scoring position against him.

The Rangers missed out on a chance to pick up Soto after his baserunning error. Elvis Andrus struck out after a nine-pitch faceoff with Sale, failing to score a runner at third with one out to give the Rangers the lead. Lance Berkman grounded into a fielder's choice to end the rally.

"We still had the bases loaded and one out," Soto said. "We could have capitalized. But definitely a running mistake on my part. That didn't help."

Soto did an admirable job of guiding rookie starter Nick Tepesch through a tough beginning when he allowed a run each in the first two innings to fall behind 2-0. Soto and Tepesch went away from his fastball and relied heavily on his slider and sinker as he threw four scoreless innings from the third to the sixth.

The White Sox finally got to Tepesch with two home runs in the top of the seventh. White Sox third baseman Conor Gillaspie led off the inning by belting a 1-0 change-up into the Rangers' bullpen in left-center field for a 3-2 lead. Tepesch later hung a slider that De Aza hit for a two-run home run for key insurance runs with two outs in the inning.

"He just left it up a little bit," Soto said. "He pitched with his heart. He pitched with poise, and you can see that. Just one pitch. That's how games go."



Fitzsimmons and Durrett: Jon Daniels

Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.

Galloway & Company: Nolan Ryan

Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Jim Bowden

ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.

Fitzsimmons and Durrett: Chuck Cooperstein

Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.

Galloway & Company: Elvis Andrus

Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.

Galloway & Company: Nolan Ryan

Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Ron Washington

Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Fire Wash?

Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.


Martin Perez
2 2.70 12 20
BAE. Andrus .309
HRE. Andrus 1
RBIA. Rios 7
RE. Andrus 8
OPSS. Choo .796
ERAY. Darvish 0.00
SOY. Darvish 15