Gomez uses speed to save run, score one

Banister looks to capitalize on veteran's energy atop lineup

Gomez uses speed to save run, score one

ARLINGTON -- Rangers outfielder Carlos Gomez has hit in every spot in the lineup in his 11-year career. He had 4,312 plate appearances going into Saturday's game and a minimum of 182 at each spot.

The most is 1,228 plate appearances in the leadoff spot -- 28 percent of his total -- and Friday's game showed why manager Jeff Banister wants him atop the Rangers' lineup.

Gomez, after making a tremendous catch in the top of the first inning, led off with a blooper into left-center. Gomez ripped around first base and turned it into a double with his speed.

He then scored on two ground balls. The first was a routine grounder by Shin-Soo Choo to second baseman Jed Lowrie that moved Gomez to third. The second was a hard grounder by Nomar Mazara right at first baseman Yonder Alonso, who went for the out at home. Once again Gomez's speed prevailed as he slid around the tag for the Rangers' first run in a 10-5 win.

Gomez scores, call stands

"What you saw last night is what we feel like he can give us," Banister said. "Just what we saw out of him, the energy, the baserunning, the ability to get on, create. I just think that is so crucial to the offense for any baseball team really. His ability to do things with his bat, his legs. Believe it or not it gives your hitters confidence to get on the board, to get a run on the board. That's why we like him."

Gomez said the terrific catch in center also carried over to his plate appearance.

"I got to the plate and I was still breathing heavy," Gomez said. "It was great to start a game like that ... get a run for my pitcher and my team, it's like a shot of caffeine for everybody to wake up."

Banister on Rangers' win

Griffin expects to be fine 
Pitcher A.J. Griffin still had noticeable abrasions on his right hand one day after scuffing it during a start against the Athletics. His knees were also scuffed, but the hand is the bigger concern ahead of Wednesday's scheduled start against the Angels.

"I played toss today and it felt all right," Griffin said. "The hand heals pretty fast. I feel pretty confident. I don't foresee it being an issue."

Rangers beat 
• With rain threatening to affect Double-A Frisco's game on Monday night, the Rangers have scratched Andrew Cashner from his scheduled start on medical rehabilitation assignment. Cashner instead will pitch in an extended spring game Monday in Arizona. The goal is to pitch five innings and throw 75 pitches.

Alex Claudio's fastball has averaged 85.7 mph this season. That's slower than Martin Perez's average of 86.3 mph for his changeup.

• Saturday was bullpen catcher Josh Frasier's birthday.

Tanner Scheppers, on the disabled list with a strained abdominal muscle, will be sent to Triple-A Round Rock on Sunday to begin a rehab assignment.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. 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.