Rangers' Tuesday starter up in the air
Harrison could take the hill in place of Nippert
ARLINGTON -- Rangers reliever Matt Harrison could start in place of Dustin Nippert in Tuesday's game against the Angels.It would be Nippert's scheduled turn in the rotation, but manager Ron Washington said he has preferred to throw left-handers against the Angels. "Lefties do a good job against them. All of that will be discussed," Washington said. "In the past, we've always tried to throw our lefties against them." Harrison began the season as a starter before being injured and picked up his first Major League save on Wednesday by pitching three innings with three strikeouts while giving up a run. Since Nippert entered the rotation due to injuries to Rich Harden and Derek Holland, he hasn't pitched past the third inning in either of his starts. In Wednesday's 13-3 win over the Pirates, Nippert struck out seven batters in just three innings of work. But three two-out walks and several foul balls by Pirates hitters kept Nippert from a quality start, as he threw 40 pitches in the third inning. "In the third inning, he got the first two outs quick," Washington said. "He threw 40-something pitches, he lost his fastball. It was hot out there. It just took it out of him. When he got the first two outs, I thought, 'Geez, he might get five.'" As a result, Harrison or Nippert could start. Should the Rangers choose go to the Minors, Guillermo Moscoso would be the candidate. Tanner Scheppers and Blake Beavan are not candidates. The Rangers could skip the fifth starter spot because they have an off-day on Monday. Washington said, however, that the Rangers would prefer not to do that. He said the Rangers still want to use the off-day to give all their starters an extra day of rest. But the Rangers are considering the possibility of changing their minds and skipping the fifth starter.
Young breaks Rangers triples record
ARLINGTON -- Rangers third baseman Michael Young became the Rangers all-time leader in triples on Thursday night in a game against the Pirates.Young, batting with a runner on second and no outs in the seventh inning, hit a high fly down the right-field line off of Pirates reliever Evan Meek. Right fielder Lastings Milledge raced over and tried to make a diving catch but missed. The ball fell and Young raced to third with an RBI triple, making the score 5-4. Young now has 45 career triples, passing Ruben Sierra for the most in club history. Last week, Young became the Rangers' all-time career leader in hits, passing Ivan Rodriguez. He now has 1,756 hits in his career.
-- T.R. Sullivan
Hamilton back in lineup after day off
ARLINGTON -- Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton was back in the lineup on Thursday, a day after resting against the Pirates.Hamilton hadn't received a day off in quite some time and manager Ron Washington wanted to give him a chance to rest. Hamilton insisted that hamstring soreness didn't play a factor in the decision. "It didn't keep me from playing yesterday," Hamilton said. "I'm trying to be smart and work past that. I'm trying to stay in it for the long haul. I feel like taking a day from time-to-time is smart." He received a cortisone injection for soreness in his knee earlier this month during a series with the Rays and has been battling similar issues over the past month, according to Hamilton. But he considers it just a part of the game and isn't worried about injuries later in the season. "Taking some days off has been better for the long haul," Hamilton said. "It's just normal aches and pains of a season. I want to keep it normal." He currently owns a career-high 17-game hitting streak and leads all Major League players in June in batting average (.476), on-base percentage (.500), slugging (.878) and all three Triple Crown categories. "My wife didn't like it," Hamilton laughed. "I had to answer about a thousand questions. 'How do you feel? Is something wrong?' But I feel good."
Win streak leads to highlights for GM
ARLINGTON -- Rangers general manager Jon Daniels dyed his hair after losing a bet with shortstop Elvis Andrus.Daniels -- who has brown highlights now -- said Thursday that he was making fun of Andrus' bleached-blond hair during a road trip at Milwaukee. Andrus promptly placed a bet with Daniels that if the Rangers won 10 games in a row, he would dye his hair. "It was a flippant comment gone wrong," Daniels said. "I was hoping he had forgotten about it, but Elvis called me on it this morning."
The Rangers' win streak hit double digits on Wednesday night after a 13-3 win over the Pirates. The longest streak in franchise history is 14 games, set in 1991."I can tell you Elvis certainly reminded him first thing [Wednesday] night," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "I told him to go up there and make another one to see if he could get us 10 more." But Washington insisted he doesn't have the capabilities of getting in on a future bet with similar stakes. "I wasn't in that bet. I don't think I have the hair in the area to do the blonde streaks," Washington said.
Rangers announce equipment drive for July
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers and the Baseball Tomorrow Fund announced Thursday details for the 2010 Baseball Equipment Drive, which will take place throughout the month of July.During that span, fans can drop off new and gently used baseball equipment at any Metroplex Academy Sports and Outdoors location as well as the Majestic Grand Slam Gift Shop at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The equipment will be donated to the Jr. RBI and RBI Programs of Dallas. The Baseball of Tomorrow fund will also donate a grant of $25,000 to each organization. Rangers pitcher Frank Francisco is the honorary chairman for this year's drive, and he participated in a public service announcement that was filmed on Thursday prior to the Rangers' game against the Pirates. Anyone who brings equipment to any of the Academy Sports and Outdoors locations can register to win a baseball autographed by Francisco. The finale of the drive will take place on Friday, July 23, when the Rangers take on the Angels.
If the Angels stay in rotation, they will go with Joel Pineiro, Scott Kazmir and Jered Weaver in their three-game series with the Rangers that starts on Tuesday in Anaheim. ... The Rangers have won seven consecutive series after taking the first two games against the Pirates. Another series win would tie for the longest streak in club history, set in 1977. ... After hitting .240 in April, the Rangers have hit .297 since the start of the May, the highest figure in the Majors. ... Since May 16, the Rangers' bullpen is 8-1 with a 2.50 ERA in 104 1/3 innings pitched. ... Alexi Ogando joined Jon Warden and Frank Funk as one of only three pitchers to begin his career with three straight wins in relief since the modern era began. ... The Rangers have released catcher Toby Hall in extended spring training. He never fully recovered his arm strength after undergoing shoulder surgery last year.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com and Chris Cox is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.