Chirinos' shoulder gets final test

Chirinos' shoulder gets final test

ARLINGTON -- Catcher Robinson Chirinos was back in the Rangers' lineup on Thursday night in what could be the final test to see if he can be on the postseason roster.

Chirinos started on Wednesday night for the first time since Sept. 9 and just the second time since July 30. He has been dealing with a torn tendon in his left shoulder, and being able to catch back-to-back games could be crucial in the decision to put him on the postseason roster.

"He has passed most of the tests," said manager Jeff Banister, whose Rangers entered Thursday night's series opener with the Angels with a magic number of two to clinch the American League West title.

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Chirinos was 1-for-3 with a home run while catching all nine innings in the Rangers' 6-2 victory over the Tigers on Wednesday. He also threw out speedy Rajai Davis trying to steal.

Chirinos cuts down Davis

"The first thing that jumps out at you is how fresh the bat was," Banister said. "He had one chase in all his swings. That tells me he was seeing the ball well. Plus the movement behind the plate, he made some tough blocks and he helped [starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo] make it through his game."

A couple of weeks ago, it appeared as if Chirinos was done for the season. But he has made significant progress, and he could end up as the Rangers' No. 1 catcher going into postseason despite how well Chris Gimenez and Bobby Wilson have done over the past two months.

"I feel good," Chirinos said. "My body feels good. I have been working on my body to get in shape. It still have to get treatment because it still bothers me a little bit, but it is good enough to go back and play."

Worth noting

• Outfielder Shin-Soo Choo finished September with a .515 on-base percentage, the highest in the Major Leagues. He also led the Majors with a .404 batting average.

• The Rangers' bullpen had a 2.05 ERA in September while opponents hit .197. Both were the lowest figures in the Major Leagues. Sam Dyson did not allow an earned run in 13 innings.

Adrian Beltre led the AL with 29 RBIs.

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.