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Lewis' strong start undone by a few pitches

Righty gives up two-run homer to Perez, then settles in to go seven

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KANSAS CITY -- Colby Lewis did not need to watch the flight of Salvador Perez's third-inning home run. Lewis could identify the ball's final destination at the crack of the bat.

The Rangers' starter released a center-cut fastball to the Royals catcher, then kept his eyes glued towards home plate as Perez's two-run blast crashed into the Royals' bullpen bench in left field.

Lewis was still stewing in the locker room after the mistake in an otherwise solid start that provided the Royals the separation necessary to stave off a late Texas comeback in their 4-3 win Monday night at Kauffman Stadium.

"I think I could of hit that 2-0 fastball out that Perez hit," Lewis said. "It's right over the middle, 2-0, I'd be geared up for a 2-0 heater too."

Kansas City's All-Star catcher drove in three of his team's four runs, and helped hand the Rangers their third straight loss.

"The pitch that he made to Perez for the two-run home run definitely wasn't a pitch that he wanted to put there," Rangers manager Ron Washington said.

Perez drove in his first run in the first inning on a pitch that Washington and Lewis did not categorize as a mistake. Lewis spun Perez a slider off the plate, but he reached it and split the gap between center fielder Leonys Martin and right fielder Alex Rios to plate Alex Gordon, who ripped a two-out single off Lewis.

The Royals upped their lead to 3-0, using a similar blueprint in the third. Gordon ignited another two-out rally by coaxing a walk, and Perez delivered his home run on an 89-mph fastball right down the pipe.

Lewis seemed caught in a downward spiral as Mike Moustakas pushed the lead to 4-0 in the fourth when he lined an opposite-field single to score Carlos Peguero. But that is all Lewis would allow, as he retired 10 of the next 13 hitters, and notched four of his five strikeouts.

"He knows how to pitch," Washington said, "and that hip is healthy enough that he can execute his pitches when he feels it, and tonight he did a good job of managing that game and giving us a chance. We had a chance."

As the game progressed and Lewis got stronger, the Rangers' offense finally awoke against young flamethrower Yordano Ventura.

After scraping out one hit, and pushing only one runner past first base in the first five innings against Ventura, Texas tallied in the sixth. Adrian Beltre drove in Elvis Andrus on a ground ball to short, stretching his RBI streak to four games. Andrus had poked a double down the right-field line for the first of two Rangers' extra-base hits.

Texas put Ventura out of commission in the following inning. Adam Rosales cranked a leadoff double and Tomas Telis plated him with a single to center, cutting the deficit to 4-2. Telis advanced to second when Dyson misplayed his hit, then the Rangers' catcher took third on Rougned Odor's groundout.

Michael Choice, who two innings before was undressed by a Ventura curveball, stroked a single to left and put the Rangers within a run.

With one out and Choice on first, Royals manager Ned Yost opted to dip into the first piece of the his bullpen triumvirate, Kelvin Herrera.

"I gave [Ventura] every pitch I could give him. I'm not going to let him load the bases in a one-run game and then bring in Kelvin," Yost said.

Herrera quickly extracted Kansas City from the seventh as Leonys Martin dribbled into a double play.

And with that, the final opportunity of the game was squandered.

Wade Davis and Greg Holland, who have combined to allow 15 earned runs and strike out 168 batters in 116 1/3 innings, set down the final six Rangers in order.

"That's three outstanding arms, might be three of the best arms in baseball, I don't know," Washington said.

Washington was left to play the what if game after the loss.

"If [Ventura had] been more inconsistent with his fastball, maybe we'd have gotten him out of there, maybe we'd have gotten the bullpen earlier," Washington said.

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Rangers lose challenge, benefit from crew-chief review

Overturned call in seventh helps Lewis get out of inning

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KANSAS CITY -- Rangers manager Ron Washington lost a challenge Monday night that could have potentially gained his team a run.

Washington challenged the ruling on catcher Tomas Telis' inning-ending double play in the top of the second. Telis rolled a grounder to Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar with runners on the corners and one out. Escobar flipped to second for the force, then Omar Infante relayed to first, just beating Telis.

Replay officials in New York ruled that first-base umpire Rob Drake's call would stand and the score remained, 1-0, Kansas City.

The Rangers benefited from a crew-chief review in the bottom of the seventh.

Jarrod Dyson smacked a leadoff double to right, but he overran second base and had to scamper back to the bag. First baseman Adam Rosales, trailing the play, met him there, but second-base umpire Fieldin Culbreth deemed that Dyson avoided Rosales' tag.

The umpires initiated a crew-chief review, and officials in New York overturned the call.

Lewis retired the next two batters for a scoreless seventh.

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{"event":["prospect" ] }

Bryant edges Gallo in Minor League home run race

Cubs top prospect belts 43 homers, one more than Texas slugger

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There is a new Minor League home run king.

Cubs' No. 1 prospect Kris Bryant edged Rangers' No. 1 prospect Joey Gallo, 43-42, in the season-long home run derby they had been waging from afar, as the Minor League's regular season came to a close Monday.

Bryant, ranked No. 3 on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list, entered Monday with a two-homer lead on Gallo, who led the Minors with 40 home runs in 2013. Bryant went 1-for-4 with three runs, but no homers in Triple-A Iowa's 11-1 victory Monday afternoon. That left Gallo needing his sixth multi-homer game of the season when Double-A Frisco played a few hours later to catch Bryant.

Gallo, ranked No. 8 on the Top 100, got a good start, homering in the first inning for the RoughRiders. But he walked, hit a sacrifice fly and struck out in his final three plate appearances, leaving him one behind Bryant on the leaderboard.

Bryant's 43 home runs are the most hit by a Minor Leaguer since Brandon Wood hit that many in 2005. He is the first Cubs' farmhand to lead the Minor Leagues in home runs since Bryan LaHair did so with 38 in 2011.

The Cubs selected Bryant with the second overall pick of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft. He split his first full professional season between Double-A Tennessee and Iowa. In 138 games at the two levels, he hit .325/.438/.661 with 110 RBIs and 118 runs. He also stole 15 bases.

Gallo was the 39th overall pick in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft. He hit 40 home runs as a 19-year old in 2013, becoming the first teenager in 52 years to hit at least 40 home runs. This year, he split his season between Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach and Frisco. In 126 games at the two levels, he hit .271/.394/.615 with 106 RBIs and 97 runs.

Bryant's season is now over after Iowa finished in second place in the Pacific Coast League American Northern Division. Gallo will begin the postseason Wednesday, when Frisco begins the Texas League playoffs against Midland.

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Rangers make bevy of roster moves

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KANSAS CITY -- The Rangers made a bevy of roster moves prior to Monday's series opener with the Royals.

Texas recalled right-handed pitchers Nick Tepesch and Lisalverto Bonilla, and infielder Luis Sardinas from Triple-A Round Rock.

The team also purchased the contract of Express pitcher Michael Kirkman. A corresponding roster move has not been made yet, but either Tanner Scheppers or Shin-Soo Choo will be transferred to the 60-day disabled list to make room on the newly expanded 40-man roster for Kirkman.

The moves become official on Tuesday.

Spencer Patton wraps up the initial list of September callups, but he won't join the team until Thursday. The Rangers acquired Patton from the Royals for reliever Jason Frasor in July.

Rangers manager Ron Washington revealed that Tepesch (4.44 ERA, 17 starts) would start Wednesday's finale against Kansas City.

He also offered a ringing endorsement of Kirkman, who Washington plans to use as a situational left-hander after he dominated left-handed hitters at Triple-A.

"He might have to go left-right-left, but I don't think we're going to keep him out there against right-handers," Rangers manager Ron Washington said.

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Holland set for season debut against Royals

Rangers lefty has missed first five months after knee surgery

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Holland set for season debut against Royals play video for Holland set for season debut against Royals

At this point on the calendar, most pitchers making their season debuts are typical September callups, unproven rookies hoping to make an impression with teammates, coaches, and the front office in a limited amount of innings.

Derek Holland isn't a rookie, and he isn't unproven. But after missing the first five months of the season recovering from knee surgery in January, the newly-activated Rangers lefty still cherishes every inning he throws and every small impression he makes in his 2014 debut Tuesday against the Royals

"I'm going to treat this as if it's Opening Day for me," Holland said. "Maybe the first pitch I'll be a little nervous, because it's my first time out there. After that, I'll be back to normal."

The left-hander made six starts in the Minors from July 30 to Aug. 28 before his activation from the 60-day disabled list on Saturday. He posted a 4.43 ERA in 20 1/3 innings at Double-A Frisco (two starts) and Triple-A Round Rock (four starts).

"I just want to play. I want to feel like a part of this team. This whole year has been brutal for me, and I didn't feel like I was a part of anything," Holland said of his team, saddled with the worst record in baseball. "Whether we lose the whole season, I want to be there, I want to be in it."

Facing Holland, and a team with "nothing to lose," so to speak, might be a scary proposition for the Royals, whose September is a meaningful one this year.

After their 4-3 victory Monday, they stand a narrow half-game ahead of the Tigers for first place in American League Central, knowing they'll need to take advantage of facing their weaker opponent.

Jeremy Guthrie will help be responsible for that Tuesday night after being roughed up in six innings against the Twins on Thursday.

"It wasn't one of [Guthrie's] best starts, but he got us through six innings and kept us in the game," manager Ned Yost said. "When he left, we had a chance to win the game and that's what's important."

The righty allowed nine hits and five runs in the Royals' 11-5 extra-inning loss and has allowed four or more runs in three of his last four starts.

Royals: Hosmer rejoins KC with four September callups
The Royals recalled Eric Hosmer, their regular first baseman, from his injury rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Omaha on Monday after just two games with the Storm Chasers. He went 3-for-10 with a home run and three RBIs.

Hosmer last played with the Royals on July 31.

The Royals also brought up outfielder Carlos Peguero, infielder Johnny Giavotella, catcher Francisco Pena and pitcher Casey Coleman from Omaha.

On Sunday, the Royals announced that pitcher Brandon Finnegan and outfielders Lane Adams and Terrance Gore were being promoted from Double-A Northwest Arkansas.

Rangers: Bevy of roster moves
The Rangers made a bevy of roster moves prior to Monday's series opener with the Royals.

Texas recalled right-handed pitchers Nick Tepesch and Lisalverto Bonilla and infielder Luis Sardinas from Triple-A Round Rock.

The team also purchased the contract of Express pitcher Michael Kirkman. A corresponding roster move has not been made yet, but either Tanner Scheppers or Shin-Soo Choo will be transferred to the 60-day disabled list to make room for Kirkman on the newly expanded 40-man roster.

The moves become official on Tuesday.

Worth noting
‪• After Monday's opener, the Royals' trio of Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland has combined to allow just three earned runs in 67 2/3 innings in team's 27-9 span.

• The Rangers have tied the Major League record for players used in a season at 59, matching the 2002 Indians, 2002 Padres, and 2008 Padres. Texas also leads MLB with 36 pitchers used (one shy of ML mark, 37 by 2002 Padres) and team-record 20 rookies used. The Rangers will break and tie those records when Holland starts Tuesday.

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Arencibia's starts likely to be limited

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HOUSTON -- J.P. Arencibia started at designated hitter for the Rangers on Sunday. There are not going to be many more starts for him down the stretch.

Arencibia, who was the Rangers Opening Day catcher, returned from Triple-A after the All-Star break as their starting first baseman. But that role has been passed to rookie Ryan Rua, whom the Rangers want to see play in September.

Arencibia could get time at designated hitter but that may evaporate when Jim Aducci returns from the seven-day concussion disabled list. As far as beyond this season, Arencibia still sees himself as a catcher and the Rangers are looking at Robinson Chirinos and Tomas Telis both now and the future at the position.

"It's obvious what they want to do," Arencibia said. "I get it. They want to look at young guys and see what they can do. I have been around enough. When I came back from Triple-A playing every day, my numbers were there."

Arencibia, who was demoted to Triple-A on May 14, was called up after the All-Star break and hit .262 with six home runs and 20 RBI in his first 17 games. He is 5-for-50 with one home run since then going into Sunday's game while splitting time at first base with Mike Carp. The Rangers acquired Carp from the Red Sox on Aug. 3 and designated him for assignment on Saturday.

But that was to make room for Rua, not to get Arencibia back in the lineup every day.

The Rangers signed Arencibia last offseason after he was non-tendered by the Blue Jays. It appears unlikely at this point the Rangers will have a role for him in 2015.

"The only thing I can do is come in every day and take it day by day," Arencibia said. "It's out of my hands. I can't dictate what they do with me. That's their decision. When I came back after the All-Star break, you saw the production. When I stopped playing, it made it tougher, that's the bottom line. When I was playing every day, the numbers are the numbers."

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Fifth spot remains unsettled

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Fifth spot remains unsettled play video for Fifth spot remains unsettled

HOUSTON -- The Rangers are undecided who will start Thursday against the Mariners in Arlington.

That spot in the rotation belongs to Miles Mikolas, but he is sidelined with fatigue in his right shoulder. Scott Baker remains a candidate after winning his last two starts. The Rangers also have Robbie Ross, who pitched five no-hit innings against the Astros in a spot start on Saturday.

"We'll see how Mikolas feels," manager Ron Washington said. "If he feels he needs to skip another start, we can always fill in with Baker. Robbie is in the mix too. We'll see where it goes. Robbie has thrown 112 pitches in three days. He needs time down."

The bigger question is if the Rangers look at Ross as a future starter or return him back to the bullpen where he was effective the past two years. Ross wants to start but left-handed relief remains a valuable commodity, especially if the Rangers don't re-sign Neal Cotts. Right now Cotts and Alex Claudio are the two left-handed relievers in the Rangers bullpen although they still have Aaron Poreda, Michael Kirkman, Joseph Ortiz and Ryan Feierabend in the organization.

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Cotts, Feliz can't hold lead for Texas

Rangers lose series to Astros as one-run lead evaporates in eighth

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Cotts, Feliz can't hold lead for Texas play video for Cotts, Feliz can't hold lead for Texas

HOUSTON -- Rangers closer Neftali Feliz hadn't pitched since Monday in Seattle. He said that's not a good thing.

"When I have too many days off, I don't feel the same," Feliz said. "It was that way before the [Tommy John] surgery."

The Rangers hadn't had a save opportunity since Monday. They had one on Sunday afternoon but Neal Cotts let it get away before the Rangers could use Feliz. So manager Ron Washington decided a tie game in the bottom of the eighth inning was the next spot.

But Feliz didn't fare any better than Cotts and the Astros scored two runs in the eighth against the Rangers' two veteran relievers, rallying for a 3-2 victory at Minute Maid Park.

"In the end, we had the two best out there and didn't get it done," Washington said.

It's the seventh time this season the Rangers lost a game when leading after seven innings, all on the road. The Rangers lost just three such games last year.

This loss kept Nick Martinez from coming away with his fourth win of the season. He left with a 2-1 lead in the sixth. Roman Mendez and Cotts worked out of jams in the sixth and the seventh, but not the eighth.

"It was a well-fought game, we just didn't come out on top," Martinez said. "There are always positives and negatives you can take from a game like this. I'll study the video and take what I can from this, but it is what it is."

Cotts got the Rangers out of the seventh with one pitch. He entered with two on and two out, getting Jason Castro to pop out to end the inning. The eighth wasn't as easy, although he started the inning by getting Jon Singleton to pop out. But Matt Dominguez came up with one out and smashed a 1-0 fastball over the left-field wall to tie the game.

"Cutter in," Cotts said. "It was in but it wasn't off the plate."

Cotts, after getting ahead 0-2 in the count, then hit Jake Marisnick with a pitch.

"I was ahead 0-2, 1-2 at the time," Cotts said. "He fouled off a couple of good pitches. I tried to come in tight and came in too far. You don't want to give free passes away at that part of the game. It comes back to haunt you."

Marisnick then stole second. After Cotts got Gregorio Petit on a grounder to third, Washington brought Feliz in to face switch-hitter Robbie Grossman.

"He hadn't pitched in five days," Washington said. "Today would have been the sixth. I thought the game was to be saved right there so I brought him in."

Grossman entered the game hitting .212 and was hitless on the day. The guy behind him was leading the league in hitting and already had three hits. Feliz proceeded to walk Grossman to bring up Jose Altuve.

"I tried to throw the ball down and I missed my spots," Feliz said. Feliz threw a strike to Altuve, a 91-mph fastball that was lined into center field for a base hit to drive home the go-ahead run.

"It shouldn't have been [Altuve]," Washington said. "It should have been Grossman. If you're going to get beat, get beat by Grossman, not Altuve."

The Rangers did get Grossman. Chris Carter lined a single to center and Leonys Martin threw out Grossman trying to score. Feliz was out of the inning without retiring any of the three hitters faced.

"He was not as crisp today," Washington said. "He's still trying to figure it out."

Martinez went 5 1/3 innings, allowing one run on six hits, three walks and four strikeouts. It's the third time this season he has left the game with a lead and ultimately didn't get the win. Astros starter Dallas Keuchel got through seven, allowing two runs on hits. He walked two and struck out three.

The Rangers took a 1-0 lead in the first when Alex Rios doubled with two outs and, after Adrian Beltre walked, scored on a single by Ryan Rua. That gave Rua his first RBI since being recalled from Triple-A Round Rock on Friday.

The Astros tied it up in the bottom of the second on a one-out double from Castro and a two-out single by Dominguez. But the Rangers went back in front in the fifth on a leadoff double by Daniel Robertson and a one-out single by Rios.

This is still the 16th time in the last 21 games the Rangers scored three or fewer runs.

"We had some opportunities that we have to take advantage of," Washington said. "But we still had the lead going into the game where we had our two best pitchers out there."

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Rios' homer drought confirmed after replay review

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Rios' homer drought confirmed after replay review play video for Rios' homer drought confirmed after replay review

HOUSTON -- Alex Rios, playing despite a badly bruised right thumb, hasn't hit a home run since July 6. He just missed ending that streak in the first inning on Sunday against the Astros, and couldn't get any help from a replay review either.

Rios, batting against Dallas Keuchel with nobody on and two outs in the first, hit a line drive that hit off the top of the left-field wall and caromed back to the field. Rios ended up at second base with a double.

Manager Ron Washington requested and was granted a crew-chief review. But the review showed the ball landing on the padding above the scoreboard fixed to the wall and just short of the yellow line that marks a home run.

Rios stayed at second and, after Adrian Beltre walked, he scored on a single by Ryan Rua to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead.

Also, a crew-chief challenge in the eighth inning to determine whether Rangers catcher Robinson Chirinos violated Rule 7.13 was upheld.

Astros designed hitter Chris Carter singled in the eighth inning, and Robbie Grossman was thrown out at home plate to end the inning. Astros manager Bo Porter talked to the umpires, who agreed to review the play and see if Chirinos gave Grossman a path to the plate before tagging him out.

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Others have exited with no-hitter

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Others have exited with no-hitter play video for Others have exited with no-hitter

HOUSTON -- Robbie Ross was the sixth Rangers pitcher in club history to leave a game with a no-hitter going. The other four.

• On Sept. 22, 1973, Sonny Siebert exited a game against the Royals with a no-hitter through five innings. The Rangers ended up losing in 14 innings.

• On Opening Day of 1985, Charlie Hough had a no-hitter through six innings. But he also walked eight and allowed two runs against the Orioles in Baltimore. The Rangers lost 4-2 on a day when it snowed.

• In Bobby Witt's second Major League start on April 17, 1986, he pitched a no-hitter through five innings against the Brewers, allowing eight walks and striking out 10. He also had four wild pitches. The Rangers won, 7-5.

• After an abbreviated Spring Training because of a labor dispute, Nolan Ryan started for the Rangers on Opening Day in 1990 and had a no-hitter through five innings before coming out having thrown 91 pitches. The Rangers won, 4-2.

• The closest the Rangers came to completing a combined no-hitter was on Aug. 23, 2010. Rich Harden had a no-hitter through 6 2/3 innings against the Twins. After walking five and striking out six, Harden left the game having thrown 111 pitches. Matt Harrison finished the seventh, Darren O'Day set the side down in order in the eighth but Neftali Feliz gave up a single in the ninth in a 4-0 victory.

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Carp designated for assignment; Holland off DL

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Carp designated for assignment; Holland off DL play video for Carp designated for assignment; Holland off DL

HOUSTON -- The Rangers were forced to designate first baseman Mike Carp for assignment to make room for pitcher Derek Holland on Saturday.

The Rangers, by rule, were forced to take Holland off the 60-day disabled list after his medical rehab assignment expired on Thursday and add to him to the active roster. The Rangers also needed to add him to the 40-man roster.

Carp was the move because the Rangers are committed to looking at Ryan Rua at first base for the remainder of the season. Carp was claimed off trade waivers from the Red Sox at the beginning of August, but was just 5-for-40 in a part-time role at first base.

"He didn't really get it going but that didn't come into play," manager Ron Washington said. "With all the young kids we want to see, there just wasn't a whole lot of at-bats for him. We needed to make a roster move. It's unfortunate because he is a pro."

With Carp gone, the Rangers are without two of their left-handed bats as Jim Adduci is on the seven-day concussion disabled list and not eligible to come off until Friday.

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Tepesch joins September callups

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Tepesch joins September callups play video for Tepesch joins September callups

HOUSTON -- In a paperwork move, Nick Tepesch has joined the short list of players who will be called up in September when the rosters are expanded to up to 40 players.

Tepesch was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock to make room for Robbie Ross Jr., who was recalled on Saturday to start against the Astros. The move has no impact on Tepesch's schedule, it was just a convenient way to make room for Ross.

Since Round Rock's season ends on Monday, Tepesch can be recalled on Tuesday. The Rangers aren't expected to call up many players.

Ross and infielder Ryan Rua were expected to be called up but are already here. That leaves pitchers Lisalverto Bonilla and Spencer Patton as the likely additions to the bullpen and infielder Luis Sardinas as the only position player.

The Rangers aren't expected to add an extra catcher as is customary in September. Tomas Telis and Robinson Chirinos will continue to share the duties with J.P. Arencibia available in an emergency.

Outfielder Jake Smolinski might be able to join the Rangers before the season is over. He is on the disabled list with a small fracture in his left foot and has just resumed baseball activities.

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Ross' five no-hit innings not enough to stop Astros

Pitch limit forces lefty out as Houston breaks through against bullpen

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Ross' five no-hit innings not enough to stop Astros play video for Ross' five no-hit innings not enough to stop Astros

HOUSTON -- Robbie Ross Jr., who threw 42 pitches over 2 1/3 innings in relief at Round Rock on Thursday, told the Rangers he could throw 100 pitches on Saturday night.

"He was serious," manager Ron Washington said.

The Rangers didn't take Ross up on his offer even though he had a no-hitter going through five innings in a scoreless pitching duel with Astros starter Scott Feldman.

"It was all about Robbie Ross and protecting him," Washington said. "I thought he was outstanding. He had given us 70 quality pitches and we were expecting 60. That was enough."

So the Rangers went to the bullpen and the Astros scratched out two runs in the seventh against reliever Phil Klein. That was enough for Feldman, who pitched a three-hitter for his second career shutout in a 2-0 victory over his former team.

The Rangers managed just three singles and a walk, and had just one baserunner reach second base.

"He was at his best tonight," shortstop Elvis Andrus said. "He was painting the corners with his sinker every time he wanted to. When he does that, he's effective for sure. He was aggressive, he never let us feel comfortable."

Feldman is now 3-1 with a 3.16 ERA in six starts against the Rangers over the past two seasons.

"I felt terrible warming up," Feldman said. "I didn't know where the ball was going. Once I got in the game I felt better. I was trying to mix it up like usual. I had pretty good command of all [my pitches]. That's what helped, being able to mix it up."

Ross wasn't worried about the no-hitter. His goal is to get one more chance to prove he belongs in the rotation. He knows there is a long line of 2015 candidates jostling for position.

Ross, who was demoted to Round Rock on June 17, got this start because Miles Mikolas was scratched because of shoulder fatigue. Ross also got a spot start on Aug. 14 against the Rays when Yu Darvish went on the disabled list and allowed six runs in 4 1/3 innings. That's why the Rangers were leaning toward bringing him back as a reliever in September until this opportunity came up.

"I was disappointed after my last outing against Tampa Bay," Ross said. "I had worked on a lot of stuff in Triple-A and didn't bring it back to the big leagues. I got caught up in the hype and the excitement rather than locking it down. Today I was doing things I didn't do against Tampa Bay."

Ross didn't have much time to get too excited. He found out he was starting on Friday night in Round Rock. He drove his wife back to Dallas, got a few hours sleep, took a Saturday morning flight to Houston and then sat around in the hotel lobby waiting to go to work.

Ross put that all behind him and no-hit the Astros through five innings. He walked three and struck out five. The last Rangers pitcher to leave a game without allowing a hit through five innings or later was Rich Harden on Aug. 23, 2010, against the Twins. Harden didn't allow a hit in 6 2/3 innings in a game the Rangers won, 4-0. The only hit was a single by Joe Mauer off Neftali Feliz in the ninth.

"I knew what was going on," Ross said. "But I felt good … it was more along the lines of how I felt. I wanted to go with the feeling."

Washington went with the bullpen.

Klein took over and pitched a scoreless sixth, although the combined no-hit bid ended with a one-out double in the inning by Jose Altuve.

Klein then put himself in trouble by starting the seventh issuing a four-pitch walk to Jesus Guzman. Carlos Corporan, hitting from the left side, then sliced a high fly ball down the left-field line that landed just in fair territory and bounced into the seats for a ground-rule double.

With runners at second and third, Jake Marisnick hit a high chopper that Klein fielded backing off of the mound. He looked at home, decided he didn't have a shot at Guzman and threw to first. But first baseman Ryan Rua, who started the play by breaking to his right going for the grounder, couldn't get back to the base in time. The throw got by him and both runners ended up scoring.

Washington thought Klein might have had a play at the plate.

"Hindsight is always 20-20 but when I looked up … [Guzman] looked close to home plate," Klein said. "Looking back, the worst-case scenario, he would have been safe with first and third and only one run."

That might have been enough with the way Feldman was pitching. For Ross, the question is if he'll get another chance to start or if he has go to the back of the line.

Right now four of the Rangers' five starters are Colby Lewis, Nick Tepesch, Nick Martinez and Derek Holland. When the fifth spot comes up again, it could be Ross, Mikolas or Scott Baker. Ross at least gave them something to think about.

"Let's move forward and see where we are when that spot comes up again," Washington said.

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Mikolas pushes innings barrier

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Mikolas pushes innings barrier play video for Mikolas pushes innings barrier

HOUSTON -- Rangers pitcher Miles Mikolas has thrown 102 innings this season between Triple-A Round Rock and the big leagues. That's the most he has thrown in his six-year professional career.

That's one of the reasons the Rangers scratched him from Saturday's start against the Astros when he felt some fatigue in his shoulder during his last bullpen session.

"I haven't started in awhile, so it's better to be safe than sorry," Mikolas said. "So we're going to tap the brakes a little bit. I'm a little more tired than normal. Nobody likes their arm not feeling 100 percent. This is the first time starting in five years and my body is adjusting. Let it catch up, settle down and be ready to go in my next start."

The Rangers haven't decided when that will be. Nick Martinez starts on Sunday against the Astros and then Colby Lewis, Derek Holland and Nick Tepesch are scheduled to pitch against the Royals during the three-game series that starts on Monday in Kansas City.

The earliest Mikolas would pitch is Thursday against the Mariners in Arlington. But the Rangers could also use Scott Baker, who has won two straight starts. He allowed two runs in 6 1/3 innings on Friday night against the Astros.

"We'll see," manager Ron Washington said. "Baker isn't going to be available for three days so we'll wait and see after that."

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Holland takes more fielding practice

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Holland takes more fielding practice play video for Holland takes more fielding practice

HOUSTON -- Derek Holland was on the field early Saturday afternoon going through more defensive drills with manager Ron Washington. The Rangers have been testing Holland regularly through the summer to see how his left knee responds.

But Holland was the one who requested this workout.

"Just because I'm back doesn't mean I'm going to stop working on stuff," Holland said. "I want to make sure the sharpness is there and I can field my position. It feels good, no issues at all."

Holland is scheduled to make his first start for the Rangers on Tuesday against the Royals. He has been sidelined all season after undergoing surgery on his left knee in January and has made six starts on rehab assignment with no issues. The Rangers are still concerned how the knee will hold up, especially when Holland has to field his position.

"I think it will get better," Washington said. "He is moving well enough to do what he has to do. It will get better but his knee is finally where he doesn't have to think about it."

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Rookie uprising: Young hitters seize night vs. Astros

Choice, Odor crank three-run homers; Telis collects RBI in third start

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HOUSTON -- Robin Williams exhorted his students to "seize the day" as John Keating in the movie Dead Poet's Society.

Rangers manager Ron Washington isn't quite as poetic or dramatic but still quite direct when he exhorts the latest of his Major League-record-tying 59 players to "take advantage of the opportunity."

In other words, this is the time to get yourself noticed while the Rangers limp to the finish line with an All-Star team on the disabled list. Those still active were doing that on the mound and all throughout the lineup on Friday night at Minute Maid Park.

With a lineup that included five rookies, the Rangers went out and pulverized the Astros with a 13-6 victory. Scott Baker picked up his second straight victory by holding the Astros to two runs in 6 1/3 innings and the Rangers have won four of their last six games.

"We swung the bats and made things happen," Washington said. "I'm even more happy with what Baker did. We've called on him plenty of times and he got us into the seventh. He did a tremendous job."

Four of the five rookies starting on Friday made their Major League debut this season. Two of them did so this week. On Friday night, those five rookies were a combined 9-for-23 with seven runs scored and eight RBIs.

Outfielder Michael Choice, who was 0-for-10 in his first three games since being recalled from Triple-A Round Rock on Monday, was 3-for-4 with a three-run home run.

"I felt good coming back up here and I wanted to continue that," Choice said. "I just looked at some video and made a small adjustment at the plate. I was pulling my head out as the ball was getting close to the hitting zone so I was focused on keeping my head down for as long as I could."

Outfielder Daniel Robertson, who has carved out a spot as at least a part-time leadoff hitter, was 2-for-4 with a walk, a stolen base, run scored, RBI and outfield assist. Second baseman Rougned Odor, who had a grand slam on Wednesday, also had a three-run home run while going 2-for-5.

"I'm just seeing the ball good...feeling good right now," Odor said.

Catcher Tomas Telis had an RBI single in his third Major League start and the Rangers are now 3-0 with him behind the plate. Ryan Rua made his Major League debut at first base and got his first big league hit with an infield single. He also made a couple of key defensive plays at first base.

They are just five of the 19 rookies used by the Rangers this season, including 10 on the current active roster. That is tied for the most by any team in the Majors. Rangers rookie position players have been in a combined 311 games, third most of any team in the Majors.

"We're just trying to play the game the right way, get on base and score some runs," Robertson said. "We have a bunch of guys who want to win and they showed it tonight. There are people here who have a lot to prove. You want to stick in the big leagues. It's easy to get here but staying here is the hard part. Guys want to prove they belong here."

Robertson got the Rangers started in the first by drawing a leadoff walk against Astros left-hander Brett Oberholtzer and scoring on a hit-and-run double by Elvis Andrus. After the Astros tied it in the bottom of the first on an RBI single by Dexter Fowler, the Rangers went ahead in the third on a double by Choice, a single by Robertson and a sacrifice fly by Andrus.

The Rangers then broke it open with four runs in the fourth. Singles by Adrian Beltre, Adam Rosales and Telis brought home one run and Choice delivered a three-run home run with two outs.

"I wasn't hitting my spots, but they were putting pretty good swings on the ball," Oberholtzer said. "I walked the first batter of the game and it was downhill from there."

Doubles by Alex Rios and Beltre made it 7-1 in the fifth. In the sixth, Robertson beat out an infield hit with one out and runners at the corners to drive in another run. Odor finished a five-run seventh with his seventh home run of the season.

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Adduci placed on seven-day concussion list

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HOUSTON -- The Rangers have placed outfielder Jim Adduci on the seven-day concussion disabled list and recalled infielder/outfielder Ryan Rua from Triple-A Round Rock. Rua, a right-handed hitter, went into the lineup on Friday night, batting fifth and playing first base against Astros left-hander Brett Oberholtzer.

But the Rangers are planning to play him as much as possible, even against right-handed pitching.

"He has come here to play," manager Ron Washington said. "We're going to look at him and see what he has to offer. His bat is the big appeal."

Rua has played all four infield positions and left field in his Minor League career since being drafted in the 18th round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of Lake Erie (Oh.) College. Washington said he'll most likely play first and left field although second base is his best position.

"I'm pretty comfortable at all of them," Rua said. "Whatever they want me to do. This is my life-long dream."

Rua was hitting .306 with 26 doubles, 18 home runs and 74 RBIs in a combined 129 games for Double-A Frisco and Triple-A Round Rock this season. He had a .378 on-base percentage and a .488 slugging percentage.

He is the third player from the 2011 draft to join the Rangers along with pitchers Nick Martinez and Phil Klein.

Adduci hit his head when he tumbled over second baseman Rougned Odor while making a terrific running catch in the fourth inning of Thursday's game. Adduci fell hard on the warning track in foul territory and banged the back of his head. He then slid head-first into the padded wall in front of the stands.

The Rangers reported that Adduci was experiencing "concussion-like" symptoms on Friday and he remained behind at the team hotel. He may resume baseball activities in the next few days.

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Holland to make his first start on Tuesday

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Holland to make his first start on Tuesday play video for Holland to make his first start on Tuesday

HOUSTON -- The Rangers announced that Derek Holland will return from the disabled list and make his first start on Tuesday against the Royals. Nick Tepesch will be pushed back to Wednesday and Scott Baker will likely return to the bullpen after his start on Friday against the Astros.

"It has been a long process … longer than expected," Holland said. "If we were in the pennant race, I would have been back sooner, but I can't dictate that. My job now is to compete and show them what I can do. I know the season has been frustrating, it has been frustrating for me too. I just want to be a part of it."

Holland has been out all season after undergoing surgery to repair torn cartilage in his left knee on Jan. 10. He made six starts on medical rehabilitation assignment in the Minor Leagues and was 2-1 with a 4.43 ERA.

"We had to bring Derek off of rehab," manager Ron Washington said. "He is here. He has been deemed healthy. We'll pitch him and see where it goes. Derek can relax. He has been working hard trying to get back here and now he has a date."

Holland has a chance to get 5-6 starts before the season ends depending on how the Rangers set up their rotation through the two remaining off-days. His first start in Arlington will likely be next Sunday against the Mariners.

"I'm not going to lie to you, I couldn't get much sleep last night," Holland said. "Being with the team, it's like being called up again. I'll probably be excited but I know how to calm myself down."

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Rangers extend Hickory agreement

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Rangers extend Hickory agreement play video for Rangers extend Hickory agreement

HOUSTON -- The Rangers have reached a four-year agreement with Class A Hickory on their player development contract that will run through 2018. Hickory is the lower of the two full-season Class A teams.

The Rangers now have agreements with Hickory, Triple-A Round Rock and Double-A Frisco through the 2018 season. The agreement with Round Rock remains an interesting situation.

The Round Rock Express is owned by Nolan Ryan, the Rangers former club president who is now a special assistant to the Astros. His son Reid is the Astros president of business operations and his other son Reese runs the Round Rock Express. The Astros have their Triple-A affiliate in Oklahoma City. The Rangers were affiliated with Oklahoma City from 1983 to 2010 before switching to Round Rock.

The Rangers still have to reach an agreement with Class A Myrtle Beach in the advanced Class A Carolina League. That could be a difficult situation.

The Rangers are one of 15 Major League teams whose player-development contract with their advanced Class A team expires at the end of the season. That includes the Braves , who weren't happy about losing Myrtle Beach four years ago, the Cubs, who might want out of Daytona Beach in the Florida State League, and the Reds, who are stuck in Bakersfield in the California League.

Myrtle Beach is one of the more highly desired locations in Class A. The Pelicans are owned by Chuck Greenberg, the former Rangers CEO whose group also just bought the Frisco Roughriders. BB&T Coastal Field in Myrtle Beach is considered one of the top facilities in the Minor Leagues.

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{"event":["prospect" ] }

Prospect Gallo earns rare double honor

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HOUSTON -- Third baseman Joey Gallo, ranked by MLB.com as the top prospect in the Rangers' system and No. 8 overall, has earned a rare double honor, selected to both the Class A Carolina League and Double-A Texas League postseason All-Star teams.

Gallo, who split time this season between Class A Myrtle Beach and Double-A Frisco, was also the Carolina League Most Valuable Player.

Gallo started the season in Myrtle Beach and hit .323 with 21 home runs, 50 RBIs and a .735 slugging percentage in just 58 games. He went into Thursday's game for Frisco hitting .235 with 20 home runs, 51 RBIs and a .523 slugging percentage. His 41 homers tie him with Tom Robson (1974) for the most by a Rangers Minor Leaguer.

The Rangers aren't planning to call up Gallo in September, since he does not have to be protected on the 40-man roster this winter, but he is expected to be invited to big league Spring Training camp.

Gallo was joined on the Texas League All-Star team by first baseman Trever Adams and utility infielder Odubel Herrera.

In addition, Jake Wood was named Manager of the Year, and pitching coach Jeff Andrews won the Mike Coolbaugh Texas League Coach of the Year Award. The Carolina League team also includes catcher Jorge Alfaro and outfielders Nick Williams and Chris Garia.

{"event":["prospect" ] }

Early lead gets away from Tepesch, Rangers

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Early lead gets away from Tepesch, Rangers play video for Early lead gets away from Tepesch, Rangers

HOUSTON -- Nick Tepesch left Thursday's start against the Astros in the fifth inning with a shutout going.

The problem was, he left the game with one out and two on. At that point he had thrown 89 pitches and allowed nine of 21 batters faced to reach base on five hits, three walks and one hit batter.

"He was laboring," manager Ron Washington said. "He was struggling from pitch one. In [almost] every inning, he was in trouble. That inning we got to the middle of their order, and I wanted to shut the inning down."

Washington, wanting to protect a two-run lead, brought in Roman Mendez to stop the threat. But Mendez gave up an infield single to Dexter Fowler and then a grand slam to Jason Castro that gave the Astros a 4-2 victory at Minute Maid Park.

Mendez, who ended up with his first Major League loss, had thrown seven straight scoreless innings before Castro hit the grand slam.

Tepesch had also been on a roll of late, with a 3.46 ERA in four August starts, but he couldn't finish the month with another quality start.

"Long innings, no clean innings," Tepesch said. "A lot of pitches per innings. It's tough to pitch deep into the game throwing so many pitches."

"He wasn't able to get his breaking ball over," Washington said. "His sinker wasn't there, either. He just didn't have it. He just couldn't get anything where he wanted it."

The Astros have now won nine of 13 against the Rangers after starter Collin McHugh allowed two runs in seven innings. He allowed eight hits but did not walk a batter and struck out six.

"The Texas Rangers handed it to us last year," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "Man to a man, we all came out with the thought process this year [that] we want to reverse our fortunes against them, and we've played some of our best baseball against them this year."

The Rangers went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position, missing chances to build more than a two-run lead early.

Texas started the game with singles by Leonys Martin and Elvis Andrus that put runners on the corners but only got one run, when Mike Carp grounded into a double play. They loaded the bases in the second on singles by Robinson Chirinos, Martin and Andrus but again scored only one run.

Carp sent home the run with a sacrifice fly, and the other runners moved up to second and third on left fielder Marc Krauss' errant throw to the plate, but McHugh struck out Adrian Beltre and Jim Adduci to end the threat.

"We had some situations, but [McHugh] made some good pitches," Andrus said. "When you face a guy for the first time, sometimes you have the advantage, and sometimes you don't. He just made good pitches. The next time we'll know him better."

Tepesch started the fifth by getting Marwin Gonzalez on a fly to center, but Jose Altuve singled and Chris Carter walked. That's when Washington went with Mendez; Tepesch didn't argue.

"You want to go deep in the game, but that's not my call," Tepesch said. "I respect whatever call they make."

Mendez first had to face Fowler, who beat out a slow grounder to Beltre. That brought up Castro, who entered the game in an 0-for-20 slump before delivering a single and a walk in his first two plate appearances. Mendez got behind, 2-0, before having to come with the fastball, and Castro crushed it into the right-field seats.

"Just trying to be as short as I can and trying to put the ball in play," Castro said. "I was really just looking to get something I could drive in the air so that worst-case scenario, we had a sac fly, and luckily enough, I got the barrel on it and I was able to put a short swing on it, and it was able to go out."

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Holland raring to return after final rehab start

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Holland raring to return after final rehab start

HOUSTON -- Derek Holland's 30-day rehab assignment has expired. The next stop? The Rangers' rotation.

Holland made his sixth start for Triple-A Round Rock on Thursday night. He went 5 2/3 innings and allowed four runs, three earned, on six hits, two walks and five strikeouts. He allowed two home runs and threw 98 pitches. His throwing error on a pickoff led to one unearned run.

Manager Ron Washington told Holland before the start that he wanted to see him "dominate" the opposition. Washington will wait to hear from team officials in attendance if there were any signs of that.

Holland is expected to rejoin the Rangers on Friday in Houston, and Washington will talk with pitching coach Mike Maddux to decide the next step.

Holland, sidelined since undergoing surgery in the offseason to repair torn cartilage in his left knee, is expected to be activated when rosters expand in September, and he could possibly make his first start during the three-game series with the Royals next week in Kansas City.

"I felt good," Holland said. "I needed to pound the zone and get myself ready, and I did that. The knee is good, the knee is fine, everything is normal. The big thing was to show that I'm ready to go, and my thing now is to be a part of the team again."

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Beltre happy just to hang with the big boppers

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HOUSTON -- Adrian Beltre began Thursday batting .439 in his last 11 games. That put him third in the American League batting race, with a .326 average. Jose Altuve led with a .332 average, and Victor Martinez was second, at .327.

"I have no chance," Beltre said. "Altuve? Great hitter. Victor Martinez? They're better hitters than me. I just hope I end up third. I'm hoping I can hang up with them."

That may be, but Beltre and Martinez are good friends. They played together on the Red Sox in 2010, and Martinez was a leading tormentor among those trying to give Beltre the dreaded head rub. It would seem that Beltre would hate losing to Martinez.

"He's a way better hitter than I am, from both sides of the plate," Beltre said. "He's a great switch-hitter. He has the luxury that if he has to face a nasty right-hander, he can turn to the other side."

Martinez also has the luxury of batting in the middle of a potent Tigers lineup, hitting cleanup behind Miguel Cabrera. Beltre batted fourth for the Rangers on Thursday, with Mike Carp batting third and Jim Adduci batting fifth. Carp went into the game hitting .179, while Adduci was hitting .177.

"If everybody was healthy, and different guys in front of me or behind me hitting, it's the same stuff," Beltre said. "I'd still have to do my job every day. It doesn't matter what the situation -- when I'm at home plate, I want to beat the pitcher.

"Because we don't have the team we're supposed to have and everything is not going the way we want this year, I'm not going to home plate trying to get an out. It's not going to happen. I have a job. I don't think it's an excuse not to compete well because the team is not doing well."

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Choo's surgery set for Friday, when Rios returns

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Choo's surgery set for Friday, when Rios returns play video for Choo's surgery set for Friday, when Rios returns

HOUSTON -- Outfielder Shin-Soo Choo is scheduled to undergo surgery on Friday to have a bone spur removed from his left elbow. On the same day, Alex Rios is expected to be back in the lineup after dealing with a badly bruised right thumb.

Rios was out of the lineup for the second straight game on Thursday despite telling manager Ron Washington he was ready to go. Washington decided to give Rios one more day, as Rios' willingness to play is not an indication that the thumb is any better.

"It's about the same," Rios said. "I don't want to miss any more time. It's not going to get any better anyway."

Rios has been dealing with both the thumb and a sprained right ankle since right after the All-Star break. He said the thumb is the bigger issue.

"What Alex is doing is difficult," third baseman Adrian Beltre said. "He is trying to battle through it, and we appreciate it. The guy likes to be out there and prove to his teammates that he wants to be out there."

Choo has been dealing with a sore left elbow since Spring Training and, since mid-April, a sprained left ankle. The Rangers finally decided to shut him down so that he can have a normal offseason and be at full strength going into Spring Training. The Rangers expect that he will need two months of recovery before being able to begin his normal offseason program in mid-November.

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Rangers strike early and often in rout of Mariners

Odor leads charge with historic grand slam; Lewis goes the distance

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Rangers strike early and often in rout of Mariners play video for Rangers strike early and often in rout of Mariners

SEATTLE -- The Rangers' nine starting offensive players on Wednesday were averaging 4.5 home runs and just over 24 RBIs per man this season. Take Adrian Beltre out of the equation and ...

Well, they had three starters batting in the .170 range, another batting .190 in his last 23 games and yet another playing in just his second Major League game. In other words, just another everyday lineup put out by the Rangers in this extraordinary season. It's been a long time since Texas was seriously out-manned offensively by the Seattle Mariners.

Turns out they weren't -- at least on Wednesday. Every player in the Rangers' lineup scored a run and all but one had a hit in a 12-4 victory over the Mariners at Safeco Field. Colby Lewis went the distance for his second complete game this season and the Rangers ended up taking two of three from the Mariners.

"You never know what happens in this game," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "I wish it was that easy to predict, but you have to play. We made good things happen today. We executed, we dropped bunts, we hit the long ball ... just played a solid game."

The big blows for the Rangers were a three-run double in the second inning by Tomas Telis in his second Major League game and a grand slam in the third by second baseman Rougned Odor, who was the one hitting .190 in his last 23 games. Leonys Martin celebrated his return to the leadoff spot by going 3-for-4 with a two-run home run.

"Timely hitting today, a big hit by Odor and Telis had a big hit," shortstop Adam Rosales said. "Everybody had good at-bats. Obviously we have a lot of missing parts but we all have the ability and talent. We are all big league players."

Odor, at 20 years and 205 days old, is the youngest player in Rangers history to hit a grand slam. Roy Howell was 21 years and 230 days old when he hit his first grand slam on Aug. 5, 1975, against the Athletics. Odor is the youngest Major League player to go deep with the bases loaded since Jose Reyes (20 years, four days) with the Mets in 2003.

Odor is the first Rangers player to hit a grand slam on the road since Michael Young on Aug. 4, 2010, at Safeco. The Rangers' last 11 grand slams had been in Arlington.

"I'm always trying to do the best I can to help the team win," Odor said. "Sometimes you do good, sometimes you struggle. I feel good right now. I don't look at the numbers, I just go out and play the game."

The Rangers did most of their damage against Mariners starter Erasmo Ramirez, who allowed 10 runs in three-plus innings. This is the first time this season the Mariners' pitching staff has allowed at least 10 runs in a game. It had gone 144 games without doing so, the seventh-longest stretch in American League history, and the longest since a 194-game streak by the Yankees in 1975-76.

Lewis took advantage of the support and beat the Mariners for the first time since Sept. 17, 2011. He allowed seven hits, walked just one and struck out seven to raise his record to 9-11 with a 5.44 ERA.

"It's easy to go out and pound the strike zone when the guys give me the opportunity like that," Lewis said. "It's real easy to throw strikes when we score that many runs. You just try to get ahead and throw strike one."

Ramirez retired the side in order in the first, but the Rangers loaded the bases in the second on a one-out walk to James Adduci, a single by Rosales and a two-out hit by pitch to Michael Choice. Telis followed with a high drive into deep right that outfielder Logan Morrison got his glove on and dropped as he crashed into the wall. Three runs scored, and single by Martin drove home Telis.

"It just bounced out," Morrison said. "I don't know. That kind of sums up the day, I guess. I make that play and no runs score, we see what happens. I don't make that play and three runs scored and it's a different game. And, obviously, from there it got worse. That's a play I need to make. But it happens. It's baseball."

The Rangers started the third inning with singles from Mike Carp and Adrian Beltre. Adduci dropped a bunt and beat it out for a hit to load the bases. Adduci was bunting on his own, Washington said.

"I was trying to keep the pressure on," Adduci said. "Get them in scoring position and get some more runs. I was going for a hit, but in those situations there is a little more room for error."

Rosales popped out, but Odor hit a first-pitch cut fastball into the right-field seats to make it 8-0, and the inexplicable rout was on from the inexplicable lineup.

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Rios out of starting lineup to rest sore thumb

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SEATTLE -- A word about Alex Rios' right thumb: bad.

Rios was out of the Rangers' lineup on Wednesday to rest the thumb, which has been bothering him for five weeks. That and a sprained right ankle are two reasons why Rios is hitting .196 with no home runs and 10 RBIs in 30 games since the All-Star break.

"It's sore," Rios said. "It's causing me to make adjustments in my swing that I don't want to do. Those things have implications, and I do things I'm not supposed to be doing. It affects you."

There are no plans to shut down Rios like the Rangers have done with Shin-Soo Choo (bone spur in his left elbow) or pitcher Yu Darvish, who is sidelined indefinitely with mild inflammation in his right elbow.

"That would be ideal to make it better," Rios said. "But even with this I can do a little bit. I like being on the field, and playing in pain is something you have to do. I like being on the field and challenging myself."

Rios sprained his ankle in the second game after the All-Star break and has been dealing with it ever since. Rios said the sprained ankle caused him to adjust his swing, forcing him to use more of his hands in his swing and less of his body. The outfielder said he thinks that's what caused the problem with the thumb.

Rios has pain and swelling, but X-rays taken last week in Miami showed no fracture. Manager Ron Washington said he checks with Rios every day to see if he can play. Most of the time the answer has been yes.

"He's a warrior," Washington said. "I'm going to keep running him out there. I'll give him a break today and see how he feels tomorrow. He is a part of this team. He wants to be there. That's admirable. It shows the young guys that things aren't always the way you want them, but you have to find a way."

Without Rios and Choo available, Washington has been scrambling to put together a lineup. On Wednesday, Mike Carp was hitting third with a .178 batting average, and Jim Adduci was hitting fifth with a .172 average. They were wrapped around Adrian Beltre, whose .327 batting average was 23 points less than the Nos. 3 and 5 hitters combined.

Michael Choice, hitting eighth, was hitting .173. Washington declined to use J.P. Arencibia, who is hitting .174, because he had Elvis Andrus at designated hitter and Adam Rosales at shortstop.

Rougned Odor, who is at .248 for the season but just .190 in his last 23 games entering Wednesday, started at second base. Robinson Chirinos, who is hitting .177 in his last 24 games, got the day off at catcher. Tomas Telis made his second Major League start at catcher.

"It's nobody's fault, we had to go find some bodies," Washington said. "It's an opportunity for those guys to show they are viable pieces. I know what the numbers say, but that's my team. I've got to put them out there. I'm behind them."

Rios' struggles in the second half have left him hitting .281 with four home runs and 52 RBIs on the season. When the campaign is over, the Rangers have to make a decision on Rios' $14 million option for next season.

"It is what it is," Rios said. "I can't do anything about it. It's in their hands to decide what to do with the team. I'm just playing baseball."

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{"content":["injury" ] }

Young bullpen arms impressing Washington

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Young bullpen arms impressing Washington play video for Young bullpen arms impressing Washington

SEATTLE -- The Rangers' seven-man bullpen includes four rookies who have all made their Major League debuts in the last two months.

So far, they are holding up. Jon Edwards pitched two scoreless innings and Alex Claudio pitched one in the Rangers' 5-0 loss to the Mariners on Tuesday. That left the bullpen with a 2.12 ERA for August -- the third lowest in the Major Leagues -- going into Wednesday's matinee.

"They have been real good," manager Ron Washington said. "These guys have been given an opportunity and they have taken advantage of it. At least we know we have some depth."

Entering Wednesday, Edwards and Claudio had yet to give up a run since being called up, Phil Klein had a 1.12 ERA in his last six games and Roman Mendez had seven scoreless innings over his last eight outings. Mendez has a 1.23 ERA overall since being called up on July 7.

The four have combined to hold right-handed hitters to a .101 batting average (8-for-79), while left-handers are hitting .250 (14-for-56) off them.

"It's definitely a growing experience," Edwards said. "It's all new, but you still play the game the same way, you just continue to make adjustments."

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Choice eager for fresh start at big league level

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Choice eager for fresh start at big league level play video for Choice eager for fresh start at big league level

SEATTLE -- Rangers outfielder Michael Choice returned to the big leagues on Tuesday and manager Ron Washington had a chat with him before facing the Mariners.

"I talked to him today about this being a fresh start," Washington said. "He has made adjustments. He still has to clean it up a little bit, but his head is in the right place. He's not confused."

Choice is here because Shin-Soo Choo is on the disabled list with a bone spur in his left elbow that will require season-ending surgery. In 43 games at Triple-A Round Rock, Choice was hitting .267 with seven home runs, 31 RBIs and a .460 slugging percentage. He was hitting .333 with two home runs and nine RBIs in his last seven games.

Choice began the season with the Rangers but was optioned to Round Rock after hitting .177 with eight home runs, 28 RBIs and a .318 slugging percentage. Choice got off to a bad start and was never really able to find himself. He went to Round Rock and said it was almost like starting from scratch.

"I went back to the drawing board, looked at video and reinvented my approach and my mechanics," Choice said. "I cleaned up a lot of things that had created bad habits. Go back and understand what hitting is and be able to put yourself in a good position to hit and in position to be successful.

"I'm taking it as coming back up here with a clean slate. Obviously my stats will be on the board but I'm not going to pay attention to that. I'm taking the approach that we're starting from scratch and it is a whole new season."

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{"event":["prospect" ] }

Williams among Texas' prospects set for Fall ball

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Williams among Texas' prospects set for Fall ball play video for Williams among Texas' prospects set for Fall ball

SEATTLE -- The Rangers are sending six players to the Arizona Fall League: catcher Patrick Cantwell, outfielder Nick Williams and pitchers Lisalverto Bonilla, Cody Kendall, Josh McElwee and Sam Wolff.

Cantwell, a third-round pick from SUNY Stony Brook in 2012, is hitting .255 with one home run, 31 RBIs and a .316 slugging percentage at Double-A Frisco.

Williams, a second-round pick in 2012 out of Galveston Ball High School, is hitting a combined .291 with 13 home runs, 73 RBIs and a .481 slugging percentage at three different levels. He played most of the season at Class A Myrtle Beach before being promoted this month to Frisco. He is ranked as the fourth-best Rangers prospect by MLB.com.

Kendall, an eighth-round pick in 2012 out of Fresno State, has a combined 1.21 ERA and seven saves at Class A Hickory and Myrtle Beach. McElwee, another reliever and a 20th-round pick in 2012 out of Newberry (S.C.) College, has a 2.63 ERA and six saves at Hickory, Myrtle Beach and Frisco. Wolff, a sixth-round pick in 2013 out of the University of New Mexico, is 8-5 with a 3.46 ERA at Myrtle Beach as a starter.

Bonilla is one of two players acquired from the Phillies for Michael Young two years ago. He is 3-1 with a 4.14 ERA in four starts and 33 relief appearances at Triple-A Round Rock. The Rangers acquired him as a reliever but are giving him a chance to start.

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Gallo eclipses his own 40-home run mark

Rangers' No. 1 prospect breaks his personal record with a solo shot in ninth

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Gallo eclipses his own 40-home run mark play video for Gallo eclipses his own 40-home run mark

In 2013, Joey Gallo became the first teenager to hit 40 home runs in a season in 52 years. Now 20 years old, Gallo eclipsed that total Wednesday, hitting his 41st homer of the season in Frisco's 5-4 victory at Corpus Christi in 11 innings.

Gallo, ranked No. 8 on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list, hit a solo shot in the ninth inning to tie the game and then drove in the go-ahead run with a groundout in the 11th. He finished the game 1-for-4 with a run, a walk and three RBIs.

The home run was Gallo's first in 10 days and just his fourth in August. He has hit at least eight home runs in every other month this season.

Gallo, the Rangers' No. 1 prospect, began the season with Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach. He hit 21 home runs in 58 games with the Pelicans and earned a promotion to the RoughRiders in June. In 64 games with Frisco, he is hitting .235/.328/.529 with 20 home runs. He still leads the Carolina League in homers and ranks second in the Texas League, one behind Corpus Christi first baseman Telvin Nash.

Among all Minor Leaguers, Gallo ranks second in homers, trailing only Cubs' No. 1 prospect Kris Bryant, who has hit 43. Gallo is the first player to hit 40 home runs in back-to-back Minor League seasons since Ron Kittle hit 40 home runs in 1981 and 50 in 1982.

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