Texas Rangers: Chris Davis

Rapid Reaction: Orioles 6, Rangers 5

June, 4, 2014
Jun 4
10:43
PM CT


ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers lost to the Baltimore Orioles 6-5 on Wednesday. Some quick thoughts:

How it happened: The Orioles broke a tie game with an RBI single from Nick Markakis in the sixth inning, shortly after the Rangers had tied the score. Nick Martinez ended up allowing six runs (four earned) on nine hits in 5 1/3 innings.

What it means: Texas drops to 29-30, and since the A's beat the Yankees, the Rangers are eight games back in the AL West. That's tied for the most games behind the A's the Rangers have been in the division this season. They were also eight back on May 20-21.

Early errors: The Rangers went with a backup right side of the infield on Wednesday with Elvis Andrus getting an off day and Adrian Beltre getting a bit of a break as the DH. That meant Donnie Murphy played third and Luis Sadrinas was at shortstop. Right away, that side of the infield got some action. Sardinas was under a two-out popup by Nelson Cruz, but it glanced off his glove for an error. That put Cruz at second and he scored when Adam Jones' hard grounder got past Rougned Odor. The ball might have been deflected, but Odor was in position and just couldn't quite make the play. It gave the Orioles an early lead.

Sardinas committed his second error of the game in the third inning, throwing high and wide of first base on what should have been a ground ball out off the bat of Cruz.

Beltre blasts: Adrian Beltre accounted for all five runs for the Rangers with two home runs, both with two outs. Baltimore starter Bud Norris gave up both homers. The first came in the first inning, as Beltre went the opposite way and hit the facade of the upper home run porch in right. The estimated distance was 401 feet and it was helped by a jet stream on Wednesday.

The second homer came with the Rangers down by three runs in the fifth. Beltre hit a three-run blast with two outs to right field to tie it with one swing. Beltre now has five two-out homers, the most on the team.

Bunt fails: After Alex Rios singled to start the eighth inning, No. 6 hitter Donnie Murphy attempted to bunt him over. But the bunt wasn't hit hard enough and catcher Caleb Joseph threw to second to get Rios. The Rangers didn't score in the inning.

Two-out success: The Rangers have the highest batting average with two outs in the big leagues: .271 coming into game. They were 5-for-14 on Wednesday. Odor and Rios are the best two-out hitters on the club.

Key two-out walk: Mitch Moreland drew a two-out walk in the first inning, making Beltre's blast a two-run homer to give the Rangers the lead. Moreland was behind 0-2 in that at-bat and managed to work a walk on nine pitches. That allowed the inning to continue. Moreland was also on base for Beltre's second home run, getting an infield single when his ball went off Norris' arm and rolled toward third base.

10-pitch AB matters: Sardinas, after a tough night in the field, had a nice 10-pitch at-bat that kept the fifth inning going. He hit a 3-2 fastball into center field with two outs. Moreland also got on and Beltre tied the game with a home run. But the two-out rally started with Sardinas. The shortstop ended up with three hits on the night.

Wasted chance: Rios doubled to start the fourth inning, but never crossed home plate. Donnie Murphy, Leonys Martin and Robinson Chirinos couldn't get a hit when needed with two strikeouts and a ground out. The club was 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position and up to that point was 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position in the series. Beltre changed that with his home run in the fifth.

Crush Davis: For the second consecutive game, a former Ranger hit a home run against his old club. Chris Davis hit a jet stream-aided homer 380 feet to right in the fifth. Cruz hit a home run on Tuesday.

RISP struggles: Andrus pinch hit for Odor in the sixth inning with a runner at second base and two outs and grounded out to shortstop. Andrus is now 4-for-41 with runners in scoring position this season. Only Danny Espinosa is worse with at least 30 at-bats (3-for-43).

Up next: RHP Colby Lewis (4-4, 5.44 ERA) goes up against RHP Chris Tillman (5-2, 4.63 ERA) at 7:05 p.m. on FSSW and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM. Tillman takes the place of Miguel Gonzalez, who was scratched because of discomfort in his right side.

Rapid Reaction: Orioles 8, Rangers 3

June, 3, 2014
Jun 3
10:23
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Baltimore Orioles defeated the Texas Rangers 8-3 on Tuesday. Some quick thoughts:

How it happened: The Orioles scored six runs in the eighth inning, three of them off the bat of Nelson Cruz, to break open a tie game and get the win. The Rangers had tied the game in the seventh, but Baltimore immediately retook the lead and control of the game.

What it means: Texas drops to .500 and has lost three of its past four games. Seattle's win means the Rangers are fourth in the division.

Rough eighth: In a tie game, Alexi Ogando let things slip away. With one out, he gave up an infield single to Delmon Young, hit Jonathan Schoop on the shoulder and then gave up an 0-2 double to No. 9 hitter Caleb Joseph, who came in with a .069 batting average. Ogando only gave up two runs but set in motion a tumultuous inning. Neal Cotts and Shawn Tolleson couldn't stop the Orioles either.

Cruz missile: Cruz didn't disappoint in his return to Arlington, crushing the first pitch he saw from Tolleson many rows deep in left field. It was estimated at 404 feet. Cruz knew it was gone as soon as he hit it and took his time going around the bases. He heard some cheers and then caused a bunch of fans to head for the exits with the Orioles up 8-2.

Most of the Rangers' fans gave Nelson Cruz a nice reception each time he walked to the plate. More on that here.

Relief star: Jason Frasor came in and made sure the Orioles didn't increase their slim lead in the seventh. With runners on at first and second with no outs, Frasor struck Manny Machado out looking (after Machado didn't get a bunt down on two attempts), got Cruz out with a 93 mph fastball on a 3-2 pitch that jammed him and retired Chris Davis on a fly ball to right with the bases loaded. That kept the Rangers' deficit to just one run.

Catching power: Robinson Chirinos made sure Frasor's terrific seventh inning was a momentum builder as he hit a home run to lead off the bottom half of the inning. Chirinos' ball went out 383 feet to left-center. Cruz went back and stood against the wall but didn't have a chance to get it.

Wasted chances: The Rangers had a runner in scoring position in the fifth and sixth but couldn't get a run. Chirinos doubled to start the fifth and went to third on Rougned Odor's bunt. But Shin-Soo Choo and Elvis Andrus both struck out to end the inning. Alex Rios' one-out walk in the sixth put Adrian Beltre at second base, but Michael Choice popped out and Leonys Martin grounded out.

Big back up: Chirinos made a key stop on an errant throw from Rios in right field. The throw was high and wide of Mitch Moreland at first, and Chirinos was able to catch it on a bounce before it went into the camera well beside the Rangers' dugout. That play kept J.J. Hardy at first base, and he was not able to score on Schoop's double. Backing up a throw might seem like a little thing, but it was a big deal in that inning.

Great gloves: The Orioles showed why they are the best defensive team in the league. Two plays in the third inning were particularly impressive, as Davis made a diving stop to his right and flipped to first to get Choo. Shortstop Hardy made a backhand stab in the hole and threw to first to barely get Andrus. Manager Ron Washington came out to argue briefly, but replays showed Andrus was out. Odor showed off his glove too, making a couple of nice plays charging the ball on bouncers to second.

Up next: RHP Nick Martinez (1-1, 2.75 ERA) is on the mound for the Rangers. RHP Bud Norris (3-5, 4.04 ERA) is on the hill for the Orioles.

Matchup: Ross Wolf vs. Miguel Gonzalez

July, 20, 2013
7/20/13
1:00
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers try to even a three-game series with Baltimore when right-hander Ross Wolf faces Orioles right-hander Miguel Gonzalez at 7:15 p.m. on Fox Sports Southwest and ESPN Dallas FM 103.3 and 1540-AM.

Wolf (1-2, 2.14 ERA): Wolf has been the Rangers' do-it-all man on the pitching staff, from starting two games to pitching in both short and long relief … He will start for the second time against the Orioles in nine days … Wolf pitched well against the Birds in Baltimore, allowing two runs in six innings in his first quality start … Both runs came on home runs to major league leader Chris Davis and Brian Roberts … Wolf retired 10 of the last 12 batters with both runners who reached erased on double plays … He is 0-1 with a 2.85 ERA in two career games against the Orioles … Wolf spent two minor league stints with the Birds.

Gonzalez (7-3, 3.48 ERA): Gonzalez has been on a good roll for the Orioles. He is 5-1 with a 2.49 ERA for his past seven starts … He's pitched at least six innings in all seven starts and has allowed one earned run in four of them … That included his start against the Rangers on July 11, when he allowed one earned run in 6⅔ innings in a 3-1 victory … Gonzalez has been prone to the home run ball, allowing 14 in 101 innings … The right-hander has been tougher on left-handed batters, limiting them to a .214 batting average and two home runs in 193 at-bats … He's allowed 12 homers to right-handed hitters in 178 at-bats … He is 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA in two starts against the Rangers.

Hitters: Ian Kinsler is 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs against Gonzalez. Davis is 2-for-4 with a home run and RBI against Wolf.

W2W4: Rangers-Orioles

July, 19, 2013
7/19/13
8:15
AM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Crush Davis is coming to Arlington.

That's Baltimore's Chris Davis of course, the former Ranger who had a spectacular run up to the All-Star Game, hitting 37 home runs. He was the leading vote getter for the All-Star Game and participated in the home run derby.

The Orioles had three All-Star starters -- Davis, shortstop J.J. Hardy and outfielder Adam Jones. Third baseman Manny Machado made the team too after hitting the break with 39 doubles.

Here's what else to watch for as the Orioles hit town for the weekend:

Davis uses entire park: Davis' home run total is the most at the All-Star break since Barry Bonds had 39 on 2001. Davis has used the entire ballpark to unleash his home run barrage. According to Baseball-Reference.com, Davis has hit six home runs in left field, seven to left-center field, six to center field, nine to right-center field and nine to right field.

Orioles in 3rd place: Baltimore reached the break at 53-43 to put them 4 1/2 games behind Boston in the American League East. The Orioles will have to pass two teams to win the division with Tampa Bay getting hot leading up to the break and pulling into second place, 2 1/2 games behind the Red Sox.

Buck knows winning: With his next win, Baltimore manager Buck Showalter will become the fourth manager with 250 wins with four different clubs. Showalter won 313 with the New York Yankees, 250 with the Arizona Diamondbacks and his most came with the Rangers with 319 victories.

Machado knows hitting: Machado has 128 hits, passing Al Kaline's 122 hits in 1955 for the most hits before the All-Star break by a player under 22 years old. Machado's 39 doubles are the second most before the break in Major League history, trailing Edgar Martinez's 42 in 1996.

Potent offense: Tired of hearing about the Orioles' offense? Well, it carries this team. Baltimore is 42-20 when scoring four or more runs. The Birds are 42-33 when they hit a home run. The Rangers are 44-21 in games with a home run.

Wash: Davis-Uehara trade win-win

July, 8, 2013
7/08/13
6:22
PM CT
BALTIMORE, Md. -- The Rangers will see some old friends during this four-game series with the Orioles at Camden Yards. Tommy Hunter, Scott Feldman and Darren O'Day all played with Texas earlier in their careers, but there’s one player the Rangers may remember better than most.

PODCAST
Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company for his weekly visit to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the addition of Manny Ramirez.

Listen Listen
Chris Davis came to Baltimore with Hunter in the July 30, 2011 deal for Orioles reliever Koji Uehara and cash. Davis hit 42 homers in 266 games with the Rangers but never broke through.

He played parts of four seasons with the Rangers, but everything changed when Davis came to Baltimore. Last year, Davis belted 33 homers and had 85 RBIs in 139 games. He’s got the same numbers already this year after only 88 games -- and earned an All-Star berth.

Rangers manager Ron Washington didn’t sound all that surprised with the success Davis has found with the Orioles.

“Right now, that guy is really, really, really swinging the bat,” Washington said. “I know who this Chris Davis is -- that’s the Chris Davis that was in Triple-A, kicking ass. He didn’t show up until he came to Baltimore. He just finally figured it out.”

Washington said the Rangers needed to make that move two years ago to get Uehara, who helped their bullpen push the team to a World Series berth.

“We ended up going to the World Series, and it took Chris a couple years here to find himself,” Washington said. “This year, he found it. If we’d have kept him for six years, we’d have had that Chris Davis, but we needed to get the pieces [Baltimore] gave to us, and Chris Davis was in it. Baltimore won that one. We did, too, because ... Uehara did a good job for us too.”

Choices: Washington and the Rangers still haven’t decided on Wednesday’s starter for the third game of this series, but he said it’s going to be either Josh Lindblom or Ross Wolf.

“It’s between those two, “Washington said. “Just got to see if we need to use [them] before we do that. [We’ll] see how tonight’s game goes and then you’ll have that decision.”

Lindblom is 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA. He’s started twice and pitched three times in relief. Wolf is 1-1 with a 1.98 ERA.

Washington said he’s got no qualms starting either pitcher. The starter will go against Wei-Yin Chen for the Orioles, making his return after close to two months on the disabled list due to a right oblique strain.

No celebration: Reliever Cory Burns didn't do anything crazy after getting his first major league win Sunday.

He threw one inning of scoreless relief in the win over Houston and earned the victory. Joe Nathan gave him the ball, and Burns also got a couple of other balls. His fiancee and family were in attendance.

But he just smiled when asked if there was a big celebration.

"Got on an airplane and came [to Baltimore]," he said. "As far as baseball's concerned, that day is over."

This and that: Washington said that Joakim Soria is available Monday after pitching Sunday and that the Rangers won't mind using him in back-to-back games. Soria made his first appearance since Sept. 11, 2011 on Sunday after missing 2012 following Tommy John surgery. ... The Rangers and Orioles play seven games this season, and all will be in the next two weeks. The Rangers have a 10-2 record again the Orioles in the last two seasons, but Baltimore won the wild-card playoff last year in Texas.

Lineups: Nelson Cruz gets break from field

July, 8, 2013
7/08/13
3:33
PM CT
The Rangers open a four-game series against the Orioles on Monday night with Derek Holland on the mound against ex-Ranger Scott Feldman, who is making his second start for Baltimore. Nelson Cruz is the DH for the Rangers, who get their first look of the season at ex-teammate Chris Davis, who has destroyed opposing pitching all year. Here are the lineups:

PODCAST
Rangers closer Joe Nathan joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss what it means to be selected to the All-Star Game again and how he feels about the Rangers heading into the All-Star break.

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RANGERS
2B Ian Kinsler
LF David Murphy
DH Nelson Cruz
3B Adrian Beltre
C A.J. Pierzynski
1B Mitch Moreland
SS Elvis Andrus
CF Engel Beltre
RF Leonys Martin

ORIOLES
RF Nick Markakis
3B Manny Machado
CF Adam Jones
1B Chris Davis
C Matt Wieters
SS J.J. Hardy
LF Nate McLouth
DH Brian Roberts
2B Alexi Casilla

The Week Ahead: Orioles, Tigers

July, 8, 2013
7/08/13
1:15
PM CT
The Rangers face two formidable offenses this week, led by the American League's top two Most Valuable Player candidates.

PODCAST
Rangers closer Joe Nathan joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss what it means to be selected to the All-Star Game again and how he feels about the Rangers heading into the All-Star break.

Listen Listen
First, it's Chris Davis and the Baltimore Orioles for four games Monday-Thursday at Camden Yards, and then a weekend series with Miguel Cabrera and the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park in the final three games before a four-day All-Star Break.

Davis and Cabrera have combined for 61 home runs and 175 RBIs before the All-Star Break. Those are breathtaking numbers.

Here's what to watch for as the Rangers hit the road for seven games:

Baltimore momentum: If there's such thing as momentum from game to game in baseball, the Orioles should have it as they head into a four-game series with the Rangers. Baltimore rallied for a 2-1 victory at Yankee Stadium on Sunday as Adam Jones hit a two-run home run in the top of the ninth off of baseball's all-time saves leader, Mariano Rivera. The victory pushed the O's (49-40) back in front of the Yankees (48-40) in the tightly-bunched AL East, both behind front-runner Boston. Jones' homer snapped Rivera's streak of 41 straight save opportunities converted at home going back to 2010.

PODCAST
Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company for his weekly visit to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the addition of Manny Ramirez.

Listen Listen
Seeing old friends: Buck Showalter, Chris Davis, Scott Feldman, Tommy Hunter. Yes, the Orioles are the Rangers East. Davis has been the big story with a major league-leading 33 home runs in his breakout season. He was the leading vote-getter for the AL All-Star team. Feldman was recently traded by the Chicago Cubs to the Orioles. He pitched seven shutout innings against the Rangers earlier this season for the Cubs and allowed a run in six innings in his first start for Baltimore since coming over in the trade. Hunter has pitched brilliantly out of the Orioles' bullpen with a 3-2 record and a 2.09 ERA. And Showalter has done what he does best -- turn on a young team into a World Series contender.

What's in a record?: The Rangers are 10-2 against Baltimore the past two seasons, including 5-2 at Camden Yards. But the Rangers lost the one game they really wanted, last year's AL wild-car game. Baltimore won the game in Arlington, 5-1, eliminating the Rangers from the postseason. Derek Holland, who will start Monday's series opener in Baltimore, pitched an inning in relief of Yu Darvish in that game.

That guy again: Speaking of AL MVP candidates, Miguel Cabrera is making another run at the Triple Crown after becoming the first to do it since 1967 last season. Ramirez leads the AL with a.368 batting average and 90 RBIs and is second to Davis with 28 home runs. Cabrera crushed the Rangers in their series in May in Arlington, going 9-for-16 with three home runs and six RBIs.

Scherzer's run at history: Tigers starter Max Scherzer will try to match Roger Clemens' 14-0 start to the 1986 season when he takes the mound Monday in Cleveland. If he gets it done, he'll go for 15-0 on Saturday against the Rangers. Only two pitchers in modern American League history have started a season with a 15-0 record -- Baltimore's Dave McNally in 1969 and Cleveland's Johnny Allen in 1937.

Murphy congratulates Chris Davis on hot start

April, 6, 2013
4/06/13
4:28
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Left fielder David Murphy sent a text message to former Rangers teammate Chris Davis on Friday night, congratulating him for his record-breaking start to the season.

"4 and 16, really?" Murphy said he texted Davis, referring to his home run and RBI totals so far. "That's a good month for me," Murphy finished the text.

Davis, traded by the Rangers in 2011, has four home runs and 16 RBIs. He's the fourth player to hit a home run in each of his first four games in a season, joining the Rangers' Nelson Cruz, Mark McGwire and Willie Mays. Davis' 16 RBIs are the most through four games since the statistic first became official in 1920.

Murphy would like to have Davis' hot start. Murphy has two hits in 15 at-bats and is batting .133 through four games.

"He's obviously feeling it right now," Murphy said. "More power to him because this is a difficult game so you want to get off to as good of a start as you possibly can."

Orioles player to watch: Chris Davis

October, 5, 2012
10/05/12
1:45
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Chris Davis stood in the middle of the visiting clubhouse at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on Thursday and smiled.

PODCAST
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.

ESPN Dallas predictions: Rangers win

October, 5, 2012
10/05/12
1:09
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- With the AL wild-card game now hours away, it's time for some predictions. It's unanimous from the folks we asked at ESPN Dallas that the Rangers come out with a victory. Why?

For starters, Yu Darvish. He's pitched like an ace down the stretch and there's little to suggest that won't continue against a team that has not seen him before. I think that's a big advantage for Darvish. Also, Orioles' starter Joe Saunders has one of the worst ERAs at Rangers Ballpark of anyone with a minimum of five starts. Only Jose Contreras' 10.17 ERA is worse than Saunders' 9.38, according to the folks at ESPN Stats & Information.

The other reason is that this team is at home in front of its fans. It's a playoff game and it will be electric in there. That can only help a Rangers team that has to forget about what happened the last few weeks and just play its game. I think they will.

Durrett's prediction: Rangers 5, Orioles 2

Other staff predictions:

Ben Rogers: Rangers win, 4-2. Comment: Darvish is the truth. Prepare to behold a glorious gem.

Mike Peasley: Rangers win, 7-2. Comment: Darvish has been the Rangers' most consistent starter down the stretch while Joe Saunders has had zero success in Arlington. Those two things plus the home crowd lift Texas to the ALDS.

Jean-Jacques Taylor: Rangers win, 4-2.

Todd Archer: Rangers, 5-2. The Rangers can't let Buck Showalter end their season, can they? Survive and advance.

Tim MacMahon: Rangers, 2-1. Darvish pitches a gem that doesn't include any pop flies to center field.

Bryan Dolgin: Rangers, 7-1. Darvish pitches eight innings with 11 strikeouts, including three from Chris Davis. Josh Hamilton has a big night at the plate.

Jeff "Skin" Wade: Rangers, 3-1. Orioles enter the 36th Chamber of the Yu and do not make it out alive.

Three reasons the Rangers win / lose tonight

October, 5, 2012
10/05/12
8:00
AM CT

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers get a chance at new life tonight, facing the Baltimore Orioles in the AL wild-card game. The winner moves on to the ALDS against the New York Yankees on Sunday and the loser’s season is finished.

So let’s look at three reasons the Rangers win tonight and three reasons they lose.

Streaking
THREE TO WIN

Yu Darvish: The club’s top pitcher must pitch like it. He’s been very solid his last eight starts – all quality starts – and he’s very difficult on clubs that have never seen him (10-3, 3.12 ERA vs. teams the first time he sees them). Darvish has pitched in big games before, though none as big as what is essentially a Game 7.

Early runs: After what’s happened to this team the past few weeks, they need the bats to get going early. They’re going against Joe Saunders, who has not pitched well in Arlington in his career (0-6, 9.38 ERA in six starts). If they can get Darvish the lead and feel better about themselves, it could set things up for a win.

Defense: They’ve had too many mistakes of late, and in a game that decides it all, a solid defensive outing is needed. This is a good defensive team; they just haven’t played like it down the stretch. They must do that tonight.

Slumping
THREE TO LOSE

Situational hitting: It’s been a problem for parts of this season and certainly in the past few weeks. Too often the club hasn’t been able to move runners over or get a runner home from third base with less than two outs. Nothing zaps energy like not executing a scoring opportunity. If the Rangers struggle with that tonight, it could hurt.

Chris Davis: The former Ranger has been on a tear of late, bashing home runs against a variety of teams. He’s likely to be fired up to play in Arlington in this kind of atmosphere. If you make a mistake to Davis these days, he makes you pay.

Bullpen: The game could come down to arms. The Orioles are one of the top clubs in the league when they have the lead after seven innings. The Rangers aren’t too shabby, either. Texas’ 'pen is banged up with Mike Adams out. Koji Uehara could be a big key tonight to help bridge the gap to closer Joe Nathan, who should be well-rested.

Mitch Moreland on Michael Young's impact

August, 21, 2012
8/21/12
1:02
PM CT
It hasn't been the greatest statistical season of Michael Young's career, but it’s another standout year for the way he impacts the clubhouse.

PODCAST
Rangers 1B Mitch Moreland dishes on Michael Young's value to the team, how Chris Davis helped his development and much more.

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On Sunday in Toronto, Young was 3-for-5 with five RBIs and ended an 88-game home run drought and a season-long 12-game RBI slump.

“Everybody in here ... Nobody doubts what Michael Young can do, what he’s done throughout his career. Not just on the field, but off the field he’s what you look at when you say the core of the Texas Rangers,” first baseman Mitch Moreland said. “He’s the guy everyone goes to and looks up to. What he did [Sunday] is small compared to what he’s done in the clubhouse all year and throughout his career for this organization and this team.”

Young was 1-for-4 in the series opener against Baltimore and scored the final run in a 5-1 win. He is just one of 11 players with at least 100 hits in each of the last 11 seasons.

Moreland was Monday’s guest on Rangers Baseball Tonight, the radio network pregame show. In addition to discussing Young, Moreland talked about the recent road trip, the impact Chris Davis had on him when Davis was a Ranger, batting ninth and more. Listen to the podcast.

Follow Bryan Dolgin on Twitter: @RangersESPN_BD.

Buzz: Adrian Beltre easing back in

May, 7, 2012
5/07/12
4:27
PM CT
BALTIMORE -- Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington isn't taking any chances. Neither is Adrian Beltre, for that matter.

Beltre said his strained left hamstring felt good enough in early work to make him a player in tonight's game. But he's not in the field. Not yet, anyway. He took grounders and moved around with no issues, but Washington wants to see how Beltre feels after getting more at-bats as the designated hitter. It's Beltre's first start since last Monday in Toronto.

"We'll see how he comes out of that," Washington said. "I want to put hiim in the field as much as everyone wants to see him there. But I want to be sure we can keep him there."

Beltre said he's taking things day to day as he tries to make sure the hamstring injury doesn't turn into something long-term. He's going through treatment every day and trying different things before the game to test it out, though nothing that would risk hurting it more. Asked if he was going crazy, Beltre said: "You could say that."

Beltre has managed hamstring issues for a while now. He's trying to make sure he listens to his body and doesn't push it when he doesn't have to do so.

"I'm just trying not to go crazy running," Beltre said. "I'm going to be limping, for sure. I'm going to protect it. I have to be smart and not try to stretch a single into a double or try to score on a close play or anything like that. For now, I'll go station to station and hopefully get better."

Beltre said it took a while last year when he returned to feel like he could go all out. But he also didn't want to test it too much, either.

Other notes:

* If the Rangers ever get into a situation where a position player has to pitch, like the Orioles did Sunday, Washington said he'd go with Mitch Moreland. The Rangers first baseman admits he was a bit jealous of Chris Davis, the former Ranger who threw two scoreless innings and got the win in Baltimore's 17-inning victory over the Red Sox.

"That was pretty cool," Moreland said. "I've pitched a lot in college, and it's something I think would be fun. But I hope it doesn't come to that for us. If I ever needed to, I'd love to."

Moreland said he was a late-inning reliever in college and that his longest outing was four innings.

"I'll be ready to go if they need me," Moreland said.

* Washington said his gut told him to put Nelson Cruz in the lineup tonight, no matter who was pitching. Cruz is just 3-for-26 on this road trip and hitting .216 overall this season. In his last 15 at-bats with runners in scoring position, Cruz has just two hits.

"One swing could be the difference," Washington said, knowing Cruz is a streaky hitter and sometimes one big hit can spark him into a long streak of success.

The skipper said he'd like to get Cruz a day off but hasn't had the opportunity yet.

* Brandon Snyder was in the lineup Monday because Washington wanted to let him hit against a left-handed starter. He said it didn't have to do with the fact that Snyder was once an Oriole.

* Koji Uehara, a former Oriole, is back in Baltimore this week. His family lives here and his son, Kaz, was in the clubhouse prior to the game. Kaz, who is probably around five years old, is a lefty.

Chris Davis: 'I don't want to do that again'

May, 7, 2012
5/07/12
4:07
PM CT
BALTIMORE -- If Sunday at Fenway Park is former Texas Ranger Chris Davis' only two innings on a major league mound, that's fine with him.

"It was a lot of fun, but in all honesty I don't ever want to do that again," Davis said. "I'm glad we got the win."

Davis pitched two scoreless innings in the Orioles' 9-6 victory in 17 innings over the Red Sox. Davis became the first position player in the American League to earn the win since 1968 (Rocky Colavito, New York Yankees).

Davis said he got about 60 text messages after the game from friends and family.

"They were giving me a hard time about how I should have been pitching this whole time," Davis said. "Everybody told me they were proud of the way I hung in there and how the team won the game."

Davis pitched and played shortstop in high school and he was a closer in junior college. He said he didn't close many games because his JUCO team won many games by large margins.

"I was trying to throw strikes," Davis said. "I wanted to give us a chance to go in there, get a few runs and hopefully win a game. When we got the home run from Adam [Jones], I came back out there trying to throw strikes and trying to use my body so my arm didn't fall off. It worked out."

He said he took something off his fastball a few times and threw a changeup to former Rangers teammate Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who was one of Davis' strikeout victims. Davis said he touched 91 mph at one point.

"Every time I threw a pitch, I was turning around checking the gun," Davis said. "It's funny because position players think they can pitch and pitchers think they can hit. It's something I never want to do again.

"It's not something I picture myself doing. It's a lot of hard work. It takes a lot of mental focus and it takes a lot out of you. After I threw the first inning, I went back and sat on the bench and I wasn't even thinking about hitting and then of course I come up that inning. We always respect what other guys do in this game, whether you're a position player or pitcher. But I have a whole new respect for pitchers now and a whole different perspective on what it takes to go out there and do that."

Davis said his pitching performance showed that the team has players that can handle a variety of roles.

"Like I've said, we have a lot of different guys on this team that can do a lot of different things," Davis said. "We don't take who gets it done, as long as we get it done and we win games."

Davis spoke highly of the Rangers, saying the fact that he's playing in Baltimore with former Texas players Tommy Hunter, Darren O'Day, Pedro Strop, Endy Chavez and Taylor Teagarden (on the DL) shows the depth of the organization.

O'Day joked that Davis was going to sit in on the pitchers' meetings from now on.

"Just in case," O'Day said.

W2W4: Rangers will see familiar faces

May, 7, 2012
5/07/12
10:30
AM CT

BALTIMORE -- The Texas Rangers will play four straight nights at Camden Yards, home off the Baltimore Orioles, otherwise known as the Rangers of the AL East.

Texas should feel right at home seeing some familiar faces wearing Orioles jerseys. Buck Showalter, the Rangers' manager before Ron Washington was hired in 2007, is the club's skipper. And he has a gaggle of former Rangers on his team. Some things to watch:

* How tired is the Baltimore bullpen? The O's used seven relievers in Sunday's 17-inning win over Boston at Fenway Park (that doesn't include Chris Davis, who won't be pitching again this season unless it's an emergency, though he did throw two scoreless innings to get the win). Six of those relievers threw at least 20 pitches, and four of them pitched two innings. We'll see what kind of toll that takes as the series begins.

* Davis appears to be figuring things out. He's hitting .299 with five homers and 14 RBIs on the season (and that's despite an 0-for-8 game with five strikeouts Sunday). Davis, a Longview native, has seen limited at-bats against lefties but has hit them well (6-for-18). He has 20 strikeouts and seven walks on the season, but that's actually an improvement in the strikeout area. Davis had 150 strikeouts in 391 at-bats in 2009 for Texas and another 40 strikeouts in 120 at-bats in 2010 before he was sent down. It's good to see Davis getting it together. I still think he needed a change of scenery to make that happen.

* Tommy Hunter pitched in Baltimore's second game of the season and pitched Sunday, so the Rangers won't face him in this series. He's 2-1 with a 5.00 ERA so far in 2012.

* Darren O'Day (2-0 with a 0.64 ERA in 14 innings) and Pedro Strop (3-1 with two saves and 1.59 ERA) are important members of the Orioles bullpen.

* Endy Chavez is on the bench and is 7-for-55 so far this season.

* As for players that aren't former Rangers, Texas could see closer Jim Johnson this series. He's 8-for-8 in save opportunities this season.

* Catcher Matt Wieters has seven home runs, second behind Adam Jones (eight) for the team lead. Wieters also has a team-high 18 RBIs to go along with his .301 average.

* Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland had three hits Saturday and may be coming into the series feeling much more comfortable. He was 5-for-9 in the first two games of the series against the Indians and is 13-for-29 (.448) in his last nine games. That includes two homers.

* Keep an eye on Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre. Hamilton played in Cleveland and Beltre had the big pinch-hit homer Saturday and appears close to becoming an everyday player again as he pushes through sore hamstrings.

* Baltimore won't see Yu Darvish in this series after he pitched Sunday. He's slated to start Friday against the Angels in Arlington.

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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