Back in lineup, Berkman seeking spark at plate

Back in lineup, Berkman seeking spark at plate

Back in lineup, Berkman seeking spark at plate

ST. PETERSBURG -- Lance Berkman is still looking for his first hit since coming off the disabled list, but he was back in the lineup on Tuesday night against Rays right-hander Jeremy Hellickson.

Berkman was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in Monday night's 6-2 loss to the Rays and is 0-for-11 since being activated at the beginning of September. He was on the disabled list from July 7 to Sept. 1 with inflammation in his left hip and a chronic sore right knee.

"He's an experienced guy, so I'm going to give him another shot and see where it goes," manager Ron Washington said.

"Obviously not having been in there, it's not like you're in midseason form," Berkman said. "You just keep going up there and doing the best you can."

The Rangers signed Berkman to a one-year deal in the offseason and have a $12 million option for 2014, but the club is not going to exercise that. Instead, Berkman will get a $1 million buyout and then have to make a decision if this is the final act of an outstanding career.

"It's hard to say, I'm taking it one day at a time and doing whatever I can to help us win games," Berkman said. "That kind of speculation and analysis will come later."

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