Borbon back in lineup against righty
Outfielder expected to see more time after days off vs. lefties
ARLINGTON -- Rangers center fielder Julio Borbon was back in the lineup Saturday after receiving back-to-back days off with the team facing left-handed pitchers.But beginning Saturday against the Cubs, the Rangers have a stretch of seven consecutive games where they'll face right-handed pitchers, something that may prove beneficial to Borbon. "We'll see how he does. We still have a lot of confidence in him," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "It'll give him a chance to get some multiple games in. He'll get most of them." With Borbon struggling against lefties this season -- he's 3-for-27 (.111) with three RBIs -- Washington elected to sit him in the Baltimore finale and the Chicago opener against left-handers Brian Matusz and Ted Lilly. "Whether I've had one or two days, I don't like focusing on, 'I haven't played in one or two games,'" Borbon said. "I'd rather see it as something positive. That's the way you've got to look at it." But Washington insists that Borbon isn't in any danger of losing his position on the team, regardless of his performance so far this season against left-handed pitching. "He doesn't need to look over his shoulder. He just needs to hit," Washington said. "I'm certainly not thinking about calling him into my office. The guy can play." Borbon just wants to go out and continue to do what he's been able to do his last few times out. He's 12-for-39 (.308) in his last 12 games, raising his overall batting average by nearly 40 points, from .188 to .227. "There's really no telling what the plan is for me as far as those seven games coming up," Borbon said. "But my goal is to go out there and have fun and just keep playing ball, do what I've been able to do the last few games. Go out there and run around and score some runs."
Rangers pitchers perfecting bunting skills
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers' pitching staff began working on their bunting prior to Saturday's game, now that Interleague Play has begun.Rangers starting pitcher Scott Feldman said he hit one into the bullpen in right field, but called it "a little bit wind-aided." "I actually slammed my bat down when I hit it because I thought it was a popup," Feldman said, laughing. "It just kind of showed my bat speed, I guess. It wasn't too bad." Despite trying to knock it out of the park, Feldman made sure he focused on the task at hand in being able to lay down a sacrifice. "I was mainly just worried about getting the bunts down, because I don't want to get pulled in the fifth inning because I can't get a bunt down," Feldman said. "So that's what I'm working on the most." Second baseman Ian Kinsler doesn't expect too many of the pitchers to ask him questions on their approach at the plate. "Nope. They haven't. And they probably won't because they all think they can hit," Kinsler said. "[Pitcher C.J. Wilson] has got a really good swing. He did it for a while."
Harrison throws bullpen session
ARLINGTON -- Texas hurler Matt Harrison, who has been on the disabled list with biceps tendinitis since May 12, threw in the bullpen Saturday prior to the Rangers' game against the Cubs.According to pitching coach Mike Maddux, Harrison threw 60 pitches at 90 percent, and everything went well. Maddux says he'll know a lot more Sunday after seeing how Harrison bounces back. If everything goes well, he'll pitch Monday and Wednesday on a rehab assignment. Maddux says the Rangers have not decided whether the hurler will come back as a starter or a reliever.
"We have to talk about that," Maddux said.Harrison took part in a simulated game on Thursday prior to the Rangers' game against the Orioles, and he threw 30 pitches.
Rangers raise awareness for childhood obesity
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers kicked off their 2010 "P.L.A.Y." campaign Saturday morning, promoting awareness of child obesity.The acronym stands for "Promoting a Lifetime of Activity for Youth," and is led by Rangers trainers Jamie Reed and Kevin Harmon. Second baseman Ian Kinsler has taken part in the event for several years now, as well. "We had a bunch of kids out. I flipped 'em some baseballs in the cage, let 'em run around the outfield a little bit," Kinsler said. "They asked me a couple of years ago, and ever since then, I just kind of wanted to be apart of it." Kinsler vividly remembers his childhood, and hopes kids nowadays can lead the same active lifestyle that he did. "I remember when I was a kid, I used to come home and try to do my homework as fast as I could so I could go to the ballpark and just hang out," Kinsler said. "That was five times a week, just running around chasing foul balls and stuff. "It just seems like a lot of kids these days are just playing video games. That's no good." Reed and Harmon set up stations to talk to the kids about obesity, while Kinsler took the more active approach. "You get a chance to get your point across," Kinsler said. "I'm just more there to have fun with them and flip some baseballs to them and let them swing."
Rangers to host Triple Play Spectacular
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers will host their 2010 Triple Play Spectacular on Sunday night at Hilton Anatole Dallas.The event, sponsored by Park Place Dealerships, has raised more than 1.4 million dollars for the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation, which has contributed more than $11 million to the community since 1991. This year's event will feature two games: Fielder's Feud, a spinoff of the popular TV show Family Feud, and Jeopardy. Infielders Elvis Andrus, Andres Blanco, Ian Kinsler and Michael Young will match wits against outfielders Nelson Cruz, Josh Hamilton and David Murphy in Fielder's Feud. In jeopardy, the pitchers will square off, as Colby Lewis, Darren Oliver, Scott Feldman and Darren O'Day are all expected to compete. Dinner will also be provided. Hosting the benefit will by Young and his wife, Cristina, alongside Rangers television announcer Josh Lewin and his wife, Dana.
With the Rangers running their win streak to five games Friday night, they entered Saturday tied for the fifth-best record in the Majors at 25-18, which is also fourth best in the American League. That's also the longest current winning streak in the Majors. Their 20-9 record since April 22 is second best in the Majors. ... Despite beating the Cubs, 2-1, Friday night to begin Interleague Play, the Rangers have still dropped seven of their past 11 games against the National League. ... The Rangers, who stole three bases Friday night, are one of only three teams in the Majors with at least six games of three or more stolen bases.
Chris Cox is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.