DeShields makes most of start against Royals

DeShields makes most of start against Royals

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers needed a right-handed hitter to play left field on Monday night with lefty Danny Duffy on the mound for the Royals.

DeShields, who went 1-for-4 in the Rangers' 8-2 victory, upheld manager Jeff Banister's faith once again. He had a big two-run double that sparked a four-run second inning.

Banister went with Delino DeShields instead of Jake Smolinski. DeShields was 4-for-15 with four walks and five stolen bases on the last road trip. Smolinski was 1-for-5 with three strikeouts.

"It's based on what [DeShields] did in his games recently and his play," Banister said before the game. "Tough at-bats, nice walks, exceptional baserunning ... good defense."

DeShields' three stolen bases

Smolinski has been playing sparingly and went into Monday's game hitting .140 (7-for-50) with one home run and five RBIs. He also has options so he is the leading candidate to be optioned to Triple-A Round Rock on Wednesday when Mitch Moreland is activated.

The Rangers have also begun to have Kyle Blanks work in the outfield. He has been playing first base since Moreland went down, but Blanks has played 169 games in the outfield in the Major Leagues.

Worth noting
• Outfielder Ryan Rua, on the 15-day disabled list with a fractured right foot, began baseball activities on Monday by taking swings off a tee. He is also playing catch with some vigor rather than just a light toss.

Nick Tepesch, on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his right elbow, began his throwing program on Monday by playing catch. It is the first time he has thrown since the end of Spring Training.

• The Rangers have placed pitcher Jake Thompson on the temporary inactive list at Double-A Frisco. Thompson, who is ranked as the No. 80 prospect overall by MLB.com, allowed seven runs in two-thirds of an inning in his last start. But the move is considered temporary and he is expected to make his next start.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.