Texas Rangers: Joe Mauer

W2W4: Rangers vs. Twins

August, 30, 2013
8/30/13
11:00
AM CT
Texas Rangers (78-55, 1st place/AL West) vs. Minnesota Twins (57-75, 4th place/AL Central)

Friday: RHP Yu Darvish (12-5, 2.68) vs. RHP Liam Hendriks (0-2, 6.20), 7:05 p.m.

Saturday: RHP Matt Garza (9-3, 3.69) vs. RHP Mike Pelfrey (5-10, 5.06), 7:05 p.m.

Sunday: LHP Travis Blackley (2-1, 4.80) vs. RHP Kevin Correia (8-10, 4.32), 2:05 p.m.

Here's what to watch for in this season's final series between Texas and Minnesota:

Struggling Twins: The Twins arrive in Arlington with a five-game losing streak after falling to Kansas City 3-1 on Thursday as the Royals completed a three-game sweep of their division rivals. Minnesota has scored six runs in their past five games, including scoring only one single run in four straight games. The Rangers haven't allowed more than five runs in 25 consecutive games, the first time an American League team has done that since Kansas City in 1980.

First time in Texas: The Rangers and Twins match up for the first time since late April in Minnesota when the teams split a four-game series at Target Field. Texas won the first two games, but scored two runs in two losses over the weekend, including being shutout 5-0 by Sunday starter Kevin Correia, who allowed six hits in eight innings. The Rangers are 10-4 against the Twins since the start of 2010.

No Mauer: Twins All-Star catcher Joe Mauer met with the media for the first time on Thursday after sustaining a concussion on Aug. 18 after he got hit in the facemask with foul tip. The six-time All-Star plans on returning sometime in September, but he won't make the road trip this weekend. Mauer has hit only .229 for his career against Texas, but he does have five of his seven lifetime home runs against them at Rangers Ballpark. Ryan Doumit is handling the main catching duties in Mauer's absence.

What about Willingham?: Will Twins outfielder Josh Willingham be in the Minnesota lineup on Friday night? Willingham was claimed off waivers by Baltimore on Wednesday, and the Twins and Orioles had until 11 a.m. CT Friday to work out a deal or Minnesota could pull him off waivers. The Twins also could decide to let the Orioles take the 34-year-old Willingham and pay him the remaining $1.35 million of his salary this season, but that is thought to be unlikely. The Rangers targeted Willingham as a possible replacement for Nelson Cruz, but the Twins outfielder was on the disabled list the month before the July 31 trade deadline. Baltimore had the ability to claim Willingham before Texas after he was placed on waivers this week.

Is this it for Gardy?: Twins manager Ron Gardenhire could be managing Minnesota for the final time in Arlington if he doesn't return to the club after this season. Gardenhire, who played in college for the University of Texas, doesn't have a contract for next season. Gardenhire, in his 12th season after taking over for the great Tom Kelly, will find another managing job if he and the Twins part ways after what so far is a 57-75 season and three non-competitive years. Gardenhire was ejected from Thursday's loss to Kansas City after a warning for Twins pitcher Samuel Deduno hitting a batter. It was the 66th time the always entertaining Gardenhire has been ejected, tying him for ninth place all-time among major league managers with Joe Torre.

Rapid Reaction: Twins 5, Rangers 0

April, 28, 2013
4/28/13
3:57
PM CT
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Texas Rangers were shut out for just the second time and lost back-to-back games for the first time this season as the Minnesota Twins won 5-0 on Sunday.

Walks will haunt: Rangers starter Alexi Ogando walked Josh Willingham twice Sunday, and Willingham scored both times. He was walked with one out in the fourth inning and came home on a Chris Parmelee sacrifice fly two batters later. Ogando walked Willingham with two outs in the sixth inning, but Justin Morneau hit his next offering into the right-field seats for a two-run homer.

Ogando still managed a quality start, allowing three runs on four hits and two walks in six innings with three strikeouts. After giving up just two earned runs in his first three starts this season, Ogando has allowed 10 in his past three. The right-hander is 0-2 with a 5.87 ERA in that stretch.

Still undefeated: The Rangers appeared poised to win their sixth series of the season by taking the first two against Minnesota but settled for a series split after losses Saturday and Sunday. Texas is still undefeated in series play this season with a 5-0-3 mark.

Runs at a premium: The Rangers scored two runs or less in three of their four games against Minnesota and just eight total in the four-game series. Their only lower series mark was six runs, but that was in a two-game set against the Chicago Cubs.

Texas went 0-for-5 Sunday and just 4-for-31 in the series with runners in scoring position.

Basepath blunders: Mitch Moreland continued a disturbing trend of Texas making outs on the basepaths. Moreland singled with one out in the third inning when Aaron Hicks misplayed his fly ball. But Moreland ran halfway to second base before turning around as Hicks recovered and threw to Brian Dozier. Dozier quickly relayed to Morneau, who tagged Moreland for the second out. Leonys Martin followed with a single, so instead of two on with one out, there was one on with two out. Ian Kinsler ended the inning with a groundout to second.

The Rangers made seven outs on the bases in the first three games against the Twins.

Solving Mauer: Twins catcher Joe Mauer entered the series with Texas hitting .366, but Rangers pitching held him to 0-for-15 in the four games to drop his average to .302.

Ortiz struggles: Joe Ortiz entered the series with a 1.42 ERA but saw that number jump to 4.05 after allowing four runs in two appearances (2/3 IP). The left-hander had allowed just two earned runs in his first eight outings.

Daydreaming: Sunday’s loss dropped the Rangers to 3-6 in day games this season. Texas is 13-3 at night.

Up next: The Rangers start a three-game set against the Chicago White Sox in Arlington as right-hander Yu Darvish (4-1, 1.65 ERA) takes the hill against Chicago left-hander Jose Quintana (2-0, 2.78 ERA) at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday night on Fox Sports Southwest and ESPN 103.3 FM and 1540 AM.

Week ahead: Angels, Twins

April, 22, 2013
4/22/13
8:04
AM CT
The Rangers opened a three-game series Monday at their American League West rivals, the Los Angeles Angels. The focus this time around should be the second of six series between the teams, not Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton. The Rangers finish the week with a four-game series in frigid Minnesota.

Here are some things to watch for:

  • Rangers atop the West: The Rangers moved back into sole possession of first place Sunday by a half-game after their sweep of the Seattle Mariners, which coincided with the A's losing three straight to the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rangers are 9-4 against AL West rivals Seattle and Los Angeles.

  • Angels on the move: The Angels, off to another brutal start at 7-10, have won three consecutive games after Mark Trumbo's walk-off home run Sunday completed a sweep of Detroit. The Angels are 14-25 in April over the last two seasons, but they may have turned a corner with Sunday's emotional win over one of the American League's preseason favorites.

  • Trumbo, Trout heating up: Third-year player Trumbo and reigning AL Rookie of the Year Mike Trout have the Angels' offense at the top of the American League in batting average. Trumbo has reached base in all 17 games and has hits in 15 of them. His walk-off homer against Tigers reliever Phil Coke was his second of the season. Trout has 13 hits in his last seven games, raising his batting average to .307. He also had two stolen bases Sunday, giving him three for the season.

  • Improved Twins: The Twins have won four straight after Josh Willingham's three-run double in the seventh inning gave Minnesota a 5-3 victory and a two-game sweep of the Chicago White Sox. The Twins moved above the .500 mark at 8-7 and are a game behind first-place Kansas City in the AL Central.

    Mauer starts strong: Twins catcher Joe Mauer is in his familiar spot among the AL leaders with a .375 batting average, sixth best in the AL. Rangers DH Lance Berkman is right in front of him at .378. Mauer has two home runs, seven RBIs and has a .437 on-base average -- Berkman leads the AL with a .509 on-base average.
  • Buzz: Wash says Roy Oswalt not a clubhouse issue

    August, 24, 2012
    8/24/12
    5:49
    PM CT
    ARLINGTON, Texas -- Roy Oswalt is headed back to the bullpen.

    PODCAST
    Rangers play-by-play voice Eric Nadel talks about Mitch Moreland heating up, Roy Oswalt getting heated, the AL West race and more.

    Listen Listen
    "Unless something happens and we need him again," Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington said prior to Friday's game against the Minnesota Twins.

    Thursday's 10-6 win again featured a somewhat awkward exchange when Washington came to the mound to replace Oswalt in the sixth inning. The Rangers led 4-2, but Oswalt gave up two singles to start the inning and then a sacrifice bunt put runners at second and third. Pitching coach Greg Maddux visited Oswalt after the second single and Washington made up his mind to go to the bullpen after the sac bunt. Lefty Michael Kirkman couldn't hold the lead and the Twins tied the game at 4-4.

    TV cameras caught Oswalt muttering on the mound and clearly unhappy, something of a theme since he was first assigned to the bullpen and exacerbated in his previous spot start at Toronto when Washington removed him from a 2-1 lead with two outs in the fifth inning, one out shy of qualifying for a decision. Texas held on to win by the same score, but Oswalt's sour body language seemed the bigger story.

    On Friday, Washington said he has no issues with Oswalt being upset with being pulled in either game said the veteran has not been an issue in the clubhouse.

    "You know, you got a guy who’s won 300 ballgames. He’s supposed to be all jittery and hunky dory because he’s going to the bullpen and get a chance to start every ...” Washington said, allowing his sentence to trail off after making his point. "It takes a while, but he really hasn’t been a problem in the clubhouse.

    "You don’t expect him to be happy when you come to get him out of a ballgame because he’s a competitor. I don’t know how many guys that do agree with a manager when he comes to get them out of a ballgame because they all think they can get out of the situation they put themselves in."

    After Thursday's game, Oswalt said he was upset at himself for allowing the the first two batters to get on base, and not at Washington for ending his night before the sixth inning was over.

    Washington acknowledged that his quick hook against the Blue Jays could have been perceived as an awkward moment after Oswalt retired the first seven batters he faced and got out of a jam in the third allowing just the one run.

    "That could have been awkward, it just depends on how you want to look at it," Washington said. "He only needed one out to qualify for a win. That might have been awkward, but I didn’t feel no stress. I did what I felt I had to do. I can’t feel no stress; I can’t. I’ve got to do what I feel is best for the team and you leave yourself open for scrutiny and as a manager you’re going to get scrutinized anyway, so I’m going to do what I want to do, then scrutinize me."

    As for any animosity brewing between Oswalt and the manager, Washington said he wants Oswalt to express his true feelings.

    "I’ve got no problem with the way he felt," Washington said. "You really can’t control how someone reacts to what they feel. And that’s what I like around here because I want them to feel what they feel because I’m going to feel what I feel. That’s why we get along around here."

    Beanball war over? Josh Hamilton said he doesn't expect Thursday night's shenanigans to carry over to tonight's game. Hamilton was the target of retaliation for left-handed Twins pitcher Scott Diamond after Roy Oswalt clocked Joe Mauer in the back. Diamond's fastball whizzed high and just behind Hamilton's head. Diamond was thrown out of the game.

    "I don't think he was trying to hit me in the head. I just think the ball got away from him," Hamilton said. "But it got away from him and it was close. That's probably the closest I've ever had a pitch come to me where I could feel it go behind the back of my neck."

    Napoli progress: Mike Napoli caught Derek Holland's bullpen session Friday, and how he felt squatting will decide how quickly the Rangers send him out on a rehab assignment, Washington said. If Napoli checks out, the assignment could come as early as Monday. Napoli has been on the disabled list since Aug. 11 with a left quadriceps injury.

    Uehara also close: The long-awaited return of reliever Koji Uehara could come as soon as Sunday. The right-hander is slated to pitch one inning tonight for Triple-A Round Rock. If he gets through it with no issues, Washington said, Uehara could be back in the bullpen Sunday for the finale of the series against the Twins.

    500 and a bobblehead: On Thursday, Washington picked up career win No. 500 as a manager. On Saturday, fans at the Ballpark will receive a Ron Washington bobblehead, one which the manager said he has yet to see. Washington already ranks third in wins in franchise history and is closing in on Johnny Oates (506). Bobby Valentine is the all-time leader with 581 wins, which Washington will likely surpass next season.

    Since Washington's tenure began in 2007, only Charlie Manuel (531), Mike Scioscia (522) and Joe Maddon (504) have more wins in all of baseball.

    "I just want 501 now," Washington said. "I think when I'm no longer managing I'll look back at the victories that is put by my name that my players won for me and that my coaches won for me. Right now, it's nice. As a group, we got there quick."

    Briefly

    * Washington said shortstop sensation Jurickson Profar was not considered for call-up to replace Michael Young while he's on paternity leave. Triple-A second baseman Luis Hernandez will assume the roster spot. Washington said the club will determine upon Young's return if Hernandez remains as an extra infielder.

    * With Napoli still on the DL and Young out for a few days, first baseman Mitch Moreland could be in Saturday's lineup despite the Twins pitching lefty Brian Duensing. Washington said he's undecided because Duensing is a tough southpaw.

    Rapid Reaction: Rangers 4, Twins 3 (13)

    July, 8, 2012
    7/08/12
    11:45
    PM CT


    ARLINGTON, Texas -- After a 46-minute thunder/rain delay, the Texas Rangers overcame one of their poorest offensive showings, engineering a ninth-inning rally and a second straight extra-innings win to beat the Minnesota Twins, 4-3. Ian Kinsler was the hero, as he hit a walk-off single in the 13th inning, giving Scott Feldman the win. Roy Oswalt picked up a no-decision in his best outing of the season, as Texas narrowly avoided its second shutout loss of the year. Some thoughts on the win:

    What it means: The Rangers go into the All-Star break tied for the most wins in baseball at 52-34, matching the club record for wins in the first half. They took two of three against the Twins to give them their eighth series win in their last nine. They also retain a four-game lead over the Los Angeles Angels in the AL West. The win Sunday was the first time the Rangers won when trailing by three or more entering the ninth inning or later since 2007. The Rangers are 5-2 in extra-inning games this season.

    Miracle in the ninth: The Rangers' ninth-inning rally to tie it 3-3 was nothing short of miraculous. The Twins had just improved their lead to 3-0 in the top of the ninth and all looked lost for Texas. Down 0-2 in the count, Ian Kinsler reached first on an error and later reached third on a wild pitch. Elvis Andrus drove him home with a grounder to second. Then with two outs, Adrian Beltre hit a single and was moved to third by another late-game double off the bat of Nelson Cruz. Michael Young tied it with an 0-2, two-RBI single. David Murphy joined Young on base with a single, but the rally ended when Mike Napoli continued his cold streak with a pop-up to second.

    Kinsler closes the deal: With the bullpen depleted, Feldman came on in the 12th inning after starting Wednesday against the Chicago White Sox. After a solid 12th, he pitched again in the 13th for back-to-back 1-2-3 innings and the fourth consecutive scoreless inning for the Texas bullpen. Young hit a leadoff double for his season-high fourth hit of the game. Murphy was intentionally walked for a second straight time to bring up Napoli. Napoli broke out of his funk with a single to load the bases. Then Craig Gentry reached first on a fielder’s choice to keep the bases loaded for Kinsler. Kinsler hit a walk-off RBI single with a 1-2 count to seal the deal.

    Thunderstruck: The game was delayed by thunder and later rain at 7:11 p.m. for 46 minutes with one out in the top of the fourth inning. A deafening clap of thunder struck that made Oswalt and the majority of people at Rangers Ballpark jump. Startled by the thunder, Mike Napoli sprinted to the dugout quicker than the umpire could call the game. His teammates got a good laugh at his expense. Ryan Doumit, who was batting, also sprinted in from home plate and Twins outfielder Ben Revere later tweeted that he was glad no one heard him "scream like a little girl."

    Oswalt's best yet: Oswalt had his best start of the season so far, finishing 5 2/3 innings with five hits, one earned run, two walks and three strikeouts, one out short of a quality start. Oswalt has often spoken of his disdain for fantasy numbers, but he put up some personal bests for the season. His five hits are the least he has allowed after allowing nine, 13 and 13 in his previous starts. His first pitch after the rain delay was a 6-4-3 double play. He would have gotten out of the sixth inning unscathed if not for a questionable call at second base, when Josh Willingham could have been called out on a Justin Morneau single. But Willingham was called safe and Joe Mauer was driven in for the first run of the game. After that, Oswalt left the game with 102 pitches.

    Close, but no cigar: The Rangers had a chance to close out the game in the 11th but fell short. After a 1-2-3 11th inning from Yoshinori Tateyama, including his second consecutive inning-ending strikeout, the Rangers' offense came up with a chance to win. With one out and a full count, Cruz found extra-inning magic again with a single and reached second on an error at second base. Young flied out to deep center and Murphy drew an intentional walk to bring up the struggling Napoli. In a twist of fate, the inning continued when Napoli drew yet another walk to bring up Gentry with the bases loaded. Gentry lined out to first to end the inning. The Rangers had another chance in the 12th after some solid pitching from Feldman. But with runners at the corners, Cruz grounded out to third to end the inning.

    Dueling pitchers: Oswalt and Minnesota's Cole De Vries kept both offenses in check for the first half of the game. De Vries allowed one hit in the first inning and another in the fifth and sixth. Oswalt allowed just three hits in the first two innings and two more in the sixth. Oswalt also had 1-2-3 innings in the third, fourth and fifth and De Vries had 1-2-3's of his own from the second through the seventh. Oswalt was scoreless through five and De Vries through seven. De Vries' night ended after seven dominant innings with only 84 pitches. De Vries finished with three hits, one walk and five strikeouts.

    MiKe Napoli: Napoli's struggles at the plate continued as he eclipsed his strikeout total from all of last season. Napoli has struck out 86 times in the first half of the 2012 season compared to 85 times all of last year. His second strikeout in Sunday's game also resulted in a double play, as Young had been sent to second base on a hit-and-run. He also had a chance to win the game in the ninth but popped up instead. Napoli finished 1-for-5 with a walk.

    Another injured pitcher: Michael Kirkman exited in the tenth with a mild left quad strain after putting out the first batter of the inning at first. Kirkman and Tateyama combined to keep the Twins scoreless in the tenth

    Up next: Ron Washington, his coaching staff, Joe Mauer and the eight Rangers All-Stars are en route to Kansas City for the All-Star Game on Tuesday. After the break, the Rangers will be back in action for a road series with the Seattle Mariners starting July 13. Here are the probable starters:

    Fri. at Sea.: LHP Derek Holland (5-4, 5.05) vs. TBA, 9:10 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/TXA21.
    Sat. at Sea.: RHP Yu Darvish (10-5, 3.59) vs. TBA, 8:10 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/FSSW.
    Sun. at Sea.: LHP Matt Harrison (11-4, 3.10) vs. TBA, 3:10 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/FSSW.

    Buzz: Derek Holland to lead rotation

    July, 8, 2012
    7/08/12
    4:33
    PM CT
    ARLINGTON, Texas -- Ron Washington has tentatively set the Texas Rangers pitching rotation for after the All-Star break. Barring changes over the break, Washington said that Derek Holland would lead the rotation, followed by Yu Darvish, Matt Harrison, Roy Oswalt and Colby Lewis.

    Washington said that a big incentive for having this rotation is so that Holland, Darvish and Harrison can start in the series against the Los Angeles Angels on July 20-22.

    Washington said he plans to pitch each of his All-Star pitchers no more than one inning in Kansas City, with the starter likely pitching two innings. He said that if Darvish or Harrison had to take on an unusually high work load in the All-Star game or a freak injury occurred during the break, then the rotation would change.

    Lewis (forearm) is progressing well in his rehab and is on track to pitch after the break with no problems. He is set to start the Rangers' second game in a two-game series with the Oakland A's on on July 18. Washington said he is happy with Lewis' progress and wants him to get as much rest as possible.

    "His bullpen (session) was top notch yesterday," Washington said. "We'll push him to the back and give him as much time as we can."

    Neftali Feliz (elbow) is still on pace to return late this month after throwing a bullpen session Saturday. Feliz will throw one last bullpen session in the Dominican Republic on Monday to ensure he is ready to progress. Washington said the plan is for Feliz to throw live batting practice Thursday and then, if all goes well, get his first rehab start Saturday or Sunday. Washington said Feliz would rehab as a starter, but he declined to comment on whether Feliz would return to the starting rotation when healthy.

    "We've got to keep all our options open," Washington said. "We'll get him stretched out and when he's ready to go, then we'll have a decision to make."

    Other notes:

    * Alexi Ogando (groin) will throw a final bullpen session with Feliz at the Rangers Dominican Republic Academy on Monday. If everything checks out, Ogando should make rehab appearances Thursday and Saturday before he rejoins the Rangers July 17 for their series in Oakland.

    * Koji Uehara is scheduled to throw live batting practice on Thursday to see how he has progressed and if he can move on in his rehab. Washington said the Rangers are being cautious with Uehara's shoulder injury. Mark Lowe (intercostal muscle) hopes to start a throwing program during the Rangers' road series with the Seattle Mariners after the All-Star break.

    * Washington chose to stick with his winning lineup from Saturday night for the first half finale. He said in particular that he wants to keep riding Craig Gentry's "hot hand." Washington said he hopes the success of last night's lineup will carry over tonight.

    "We've just got to go out there and get it done," Washington said. "We lost five in a row and you don't know the feelings we were having losing. We don't know what that's like, not like that. We got a win so we're feeling better and it would be nice to get one today. And those guys that aren't going to the All-Star game, they need those four days bad. The break couldn't have come at a better time."

    * Washington and the other coaches and players involved in the All-Star game, including Twins catcher Joe Mauer, will all leave together after tonight's game to fly to Kansas City for the All-Star festivities.

    Lineup: Nelson Cruz stays in five hole

    July, 8, 2012
    7/08/12
    3:53
    PM CT
    ARLINGTON, Texas -- If it worked once, do it again, right? That was Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington's way of thinking when he filled out his lineup Sunday. He put Nelson Cruz in the No. 5 hole for the second straight day. On Saturday, the move paid off as Cruz delivered two RBI doubles, including the walk-off game winner.

    Craig Gentry will also get his second consecutive start against a right-handed pitcher. Washington said, once again, that it is a matter of playing the hot hand.

    The rest of the lineups:

    RANGERS

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

    TWINS
    CF Denard Span (L)
    RF Ben Revere (L)
    DH Joe Mauer (L)
    LF Josh Willingham
    1B Justin Morneau (L)
    C Ryan Doumit (S)
    3B Trevor Plouffe
    SS Brian Dozier
    2B Jamey Carroll

    Matchup: Roy Oswalt vs. Cole De Vries

    July, 8, 2012
    7/08/12
    10:00
    AM CT


    ARLINGTON, Texas -- The skidding Texas Rangers will try to pick up one last win before the All-Star break in the final game of this three-game series against the Minnesota Twins. Game 3 features RHP Roy Oswalt vs. RHP Cole De Vries at 6:05 p.m. on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and FSSW. A quick look at the matchup:

    Oswalt (2-1, 7.79): The 34-year-old is coming off of his first loss of the season, in which he issued a career-high 11 runs (nine earned) off of 13 hits in 4 2/3 innings against the Chicago White Sox. ... Oswalt was the fifth starter in Rangers history to allow at least 11 runs in a game, the last being Scott Feldman, who gave up 12 against the Boston Red Sox in August of 2008. ... He has allowed nine or more hits in all three starts this year, including 13 hits in back-to-back starts, and has allowed opponents a .422 batting average with 35 total hits in 17 1/3 innings pitched. He had never allowed 13 hits in a game prior to 2012. ... The Rangers' single game record for hits allowed by one pitcher is 14. ... Oswalt is 1-1 with a 4.91 ERA in three career starts against Minnesota, all with the Houston Astros. ... He lost his last start against the Twins in June of 2009, pitching a complete game and allowing five earned runs in the old Metrodome.

    De Vries (2-1, 3.91): The 27-year-old rookie will make his fifth career start Sunday after a relief appearance against the Detroit Tigers on July 4. ... He has struggled on the road, posting a 6.75 ERA in three games (two starts), allowing 15 hits, 13 runs (nine earned), five home runs, one walk and nine strikeouts in 12 innings pitched, compared to a 0.82 ERA and seven hits in two starts (11 IP) at home. ... He has won his last two starts, both against the Kansas City Royals, and allowed 11 hits and six runs (five earned), one walk and 10 strikeouts in 11 innings. ... He has never faced the Rangers.

    Hitters: Oswalt has faced five current Twins hitters, allowing 18 hits in 61 at-bats. ... Joe Mauer is 2-for-7 with a walk and a strikeout. ... Justin Morneau is also 2-for-7 with a double and a strikeout. ... Jamey Carroll is 2-for-8 with a double, a walk and two strikeouts. ... Ryan Doumit is 6-for-19 with two doubles and three strikeouts. ... Josh Willingham is batting .300 (6-for-20) with two doubles, two walks and four strikeouts. ... No Rangers hitters have faced De Vries.

    Up Next: A record eight Rangers will be in action for the All-Star game on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. on FOX. Texas will resume play after the break with a three-game series against the Seattle Mariners on the road starting Friday. Starting pitchers for that series have yet to be announced.

    Buzz: Ron Washington shuffles lineup

    July, 7, 2012
    7/07/12
    4:53
    PM CT
    ARLINGTON, Texas -- Ron Washington is not known for making changes in his lineup, but he threw that strategy out the window Saturday with the Texas Rangers looking to snap a five-game losing streak in the second of three games with the Minnesota Twins.

    The Rangers manager filled out the lineup twice, and the final one came out with Nelson Cruz in the No. 5 hole and Michael Young in the No. 6 hole.

    The reshuffling took place after Washington discovered All-Star outfielder Josh Hamilton would be OK to play. Hamilton left Friday's game with lower back spasms, but when Washington later found Hamilton, he was swinging in the cages and gave his manager the green light to pencil him in the lineup as the DH.

    “It just happened," Washington said. "First, I made the lineup without Hamilton and had Cruz high. I ended up remaking it when Hamilton said he could play and Cruz came out of my pen after Beltre. So I just left it like that. We’ll see if it works.”

    Washington said usually switching the lineup, even slightly, can spark an offense, but he's never had to deal with the struggles the Texas offense is currently having.

    “It provides a spark when you’ve got guys in the lineup that are hitting," Washington said. "I don’t know what it’s going to do when they’re not hitting. All you’re doing is taking people that aren’t hitting and putting them at the top of the order and taking people that aren’t hitting and putting them at the bottom of the order. So what’s going to change?”

    Nevertheless, he made the change, so we'll see what happens.

    Young has been struggling as of late at the plate with runners in scoring position, and that's not usually a good thing for the No. 5 hitter. Young has not hit in the No. 6 spot in the lineup since June 12, 2003. He is 10-for-49 with runners in scoring position in his last 49 games.

    In his last 24, Young is batting .209 (19-for-91).

    Another unusual lineup decision Washington made was to put Craig Gentry in center field. With the Twins throwing RHP Samuel Deduno, Washington would normally go with a left-handed bat.

    "He's hot," Washington said of Gentry. "I need someone in the lineup that can get on the bag."

    So there you have it. Washington has gone against his usual tactics and shuffled the lineup. Now, we'll see if it works.

    Other notes:

    * Justin Grimm was optioned back to Double-A Frisco to make room for Derek Holland, who is making his first start off the disabled list Saturday. Grimm will start for the RoughRiders on Monday before heading to Triple-A Round Rock, which is currently on the All-Star break.

    "It's just a matter of going down and continuing to learn," Grimm said. "I also picked up a new pitch (slider). You just can't be up here and overthrow at times."

    * Washington noted the Rangers have made some plans for the pitching rotation for after the All-Star break, but they have yet to release those.

    * Scott Feldman, who started Wednesday in Chicago, probably won't be available in the bullpen Saturday, according to Washington. He said Feldman could go in an emergency situation, but the Rangers would like to hold him for another day and have him ready to come in for a relief appearance if needed Sunday.

    * The eight Rangers All-Stars will be honored before Saturday's game. They will receive their Majestic All-Star BP Tops in a pre-game ceremony, and Yu Darvish will be given an award for winning the American League All-Star Final Vote. Also, Matt Harrison will be acknowledged as the Rangers June pllayer of the month.

    * The Texas coaching staff, All-Star players and Minnesota's Joe Mauer will all head to Kansas City following Sunday's series finale to get ready for All-Star festivities.

    * The Rangers are celebrating 90's weekend at the ballpark. The team will be in 90's jerseys and the Rangers logo from that time is displayed on the grass behind home plate.

    Lineup: Craig Gentry in CF, Mike Napoli at 1B

    July, 6, 2012
    7/06/12
    4:32
    PM CT
    ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers hope to stop a four-game losing skid Friday when they start a three-game set with the Minnesota Twins before the All-Star break. With left-hander Francisco Liriano on the mound for the Twins, Craig Gentry gets the start in center field.

    The rest of the lineups:

    RANGERS

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

    TWINS
    CF Ben Revere (L)
    RF Darin Mastroianni
    DH Joe Mauer (L)
    LF Josh Willingham
    1B Justin Morneau (L)
    3B Trevor Plouffe
    SS Brian Dozier
    C Drew Butera
    2B Alexi Casilla (S)

    Behind enemy lines with Joe Mauer

    August, 25, 2010
    8/25/10
    5:57
    PM CT
    Galloway & Company go behind enemy lines with Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer to get a different perspective on the Texas Rangers.

    Play Download

    Reax: Ron Washington makes right call

    August, 24, 2010
    8/24/10
    12:13
    AM CT
    ARLINGTON, Texas -- It's never easy to be the manager that has to run out and take out a pitcher who's throwing a no-hitter. But Rich Harden's pitch count and the fact that it was a 3-0 game in the seventh made it the right call.

    Click here for my column on Washington's decision and the one-hitter at the ballpark on Monday.

    Other reaction:

    * OF David Murphy said he was trying to make a good swing with two on and two out in the first. Murphy tripled off the top of the wall in center to score the first two Ranger runs. The triple happened after Josh Hamilton made a headfirst slide on an infield single and Vladimir Guerrero's ball was hit behind second base and no play could be made.

    "It was a great at-bat by Josh to hustle down there and Vlad too," Murphy said. "I got in a great count there and it was good to get a hit and good to get Rich an early cushion and maybe put him in a comfort zone."

    Murphy had a 3-1 count when he got a pitch he could hit.

    * Neftali Feliz ducked into the video room after the game to see the pitch he threw to Joe Mauer that broke up the one-hitter. He seemed a little frustrated even after that, tapping his glove as he walked into the clubhouse. You could tell he was glad to get out of the jam, but upset that he gave up the hit. He said as much later in the clubhouse (it's in the column).

    Mound matchup: Holland vs. Baker

    May, 30, 2010
    5/30/10
    11:02
    AM CT

    The Rangers will try to avoid being swept in the three-game series tonight in Minnesota. LHP Derek Holland will face RHP Scott Baker at 7:05 p.m. on ESPN2. Here’s a quick look at the matchup:

    Holland (2-0, 2.95 ERA): After manager Ron Washington used Holland in the eighth inning of Wednesday’s loss to Kansas City, the lefty will be coming in on just three days' rest, though it has been seven days since his last start. The 23-year-old last started May 22 against the Chicago Cubs in a 5-4, 10-inning loss, but he didn’t factor in to the decision. Holland pitched six innings, allowing four hits, but two of those were home runs. This will be Holland’s first road start of the season, but the third start of his career against the Twins. In the previous two starts, Holland was 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA.

    Baker (4-4, 4.48 ERA): The 28-year-old will be making his tenth start of the year. Baker has been much better at home, where he has a 3.31 ERA, than on the road (5.86). The right-hander is 3-1 in five games at home and has allowed 30 hits in 32.2 innings of work and has struck out 25 at home to just four walks. Baker’s last start was May 25 against the Yankees. In that game, he lasted five innings, giving up three hits, but gave up no runs and was not a factor in the decision (a 1-0 loss for the Twins).

    Hitters: Rangers David Murphy and Michael Young have struggled against Baker. Murphy is 1-for-10 with four strikeouts, and Young is 5-for-19 with three RBIs and four strikeouts. Elvis Andrus has the highest batting average of any Ranger vs. Baker at .429 (3-for-7). Holland has allowed Nick Punto and Delmon Young each to bat .500 against him (2-for-4), and each has homered off of Holland. Joe Mauer is 1-6 against the lefty.

    Mound matchup: Wilson vs. Pavano

    May, 29, 2010
    5/29/10
    10:00
    AM CT
    The Rangers will continue their three-game series Saturday afternoon in Minnesota. LHP C.J. Wilson will face RHP Carl Pavano. Here’s a quick look at the matchup:

    Wilson (3-2, 3.07 ERA): The 29-year-old will be making his 10th start of the season Saturday, entering the contest tied for the tenth-lowest ERA in the A.L. Wilson switched rotation spots with Derek Holland due to two off days during the current road trip, and will be working on five days’ rest. The lefty last took the mound in Sunday’s 5-4 loss to the Cubs, in which he pitched 5.2 innings allowing five earned runs on seven hits. Wilson has struggled to a 10.80 ERA in his last two starts after posting a 1.48 mark through his first seven.

    Pavano (4-5, 4.17 ERA): The 34-year-old was also in action last Sunday for the Twins. Pavano lasted eight innings giving up six hits and four earned runs in Minnesota’s 4-3 loss to Milwaukee. The right hander slowed down slightly in May, dropping from a 3.73 ERA in April to a 4.67 ERA this month, allowing three more home runs and collecting three fewer strikeouts. Pavano’s statistics are slightly hampered by two games against Kansas City, in which he had a 7.84 ERA in just over 10 innings pitched and opposing batters hit .349 against him. Pavano has been decent at Target Field, where he has a 4.44 ERA in 24.1 innings pitched.

    Hitters: Michael Young and Ian Kinsler have had a field day against Pavano, with Young going 4-8 and Kinsler ripping 5-6 with two home runs and 6 RBI. David Murphy has had decidedly less success, going 0-5 against Pavano. Wilson has made the Twins most fearsome hitters look tame. Joe Mauer is 1-11 with three strikeouts and Justin Morneau is 2-10 against the lefty. Michael Cuddyer is still searching for a hit off Wilson, against whom he is 0-7 lifetime.

    Vlad's RBI takes review out of play

    May, 28, 2010
    5/28/10
    8:25
    PM CT
    It appeared that Ian Kinsler hit the first Rangers home run at Target Field with a shot to left in the fourth.

    But TV angles showed the ball, which did not ricochet back onto the field, went just foul, threading the small gap between the pole and the stands to the left. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire appealed for a review and won, leaving Kinsler with an 0-2 count.

    Kinsler followed with a double to right and proceeded to steal third uncontested. Vladimir Guerrero brought him home with a single up the middle, tying the score 1-1.

    The Twins struck first in the third inning. Joe Mauer's single up the middle scored the speedy Orlando Hudson from second.

    SPONSORED HEADLINES

    TEAM LEADERS

    WINS LEADER
    Colby Lewis
    WINS ERA SO IP
    10 5.34 126 163
    OTHER LEADERS
    BAA. Beltre .323
    HRA. Beltre 18
    RBIA. Beltre 75
    RA. Beltre 77
    OPSA. Beltre .876
    ERAC. Lewis 5.34
    SOY. Darvish 182