ARLINGTON -- Rangers players were casting their All-Star votes before Friday's game against the Astros. Fans vote in the starting lineups and the players vote the reserves for each position as well as eight pitchers.This is the ballot that sends Michael Young to the All-Star Game almost every year. He has been to six consecutive All-Star Games. Five times he was selected by the players. Once he was selected by the manager. A seventh straight trip is at stake. There are four candidates at third base: Evan Longoria, Alex Rodriguez, Adrian Beltre and Young. Longoria is likely to win the fans' vote as the starter at third base, according to the weekly updates. "I've had an absolute blast going to the All-Star Game," Young said. "Every game is special for different reasons. I've always appreciated the support the players have given me. It's the ultimate compliment. But third base is a competitive position. Every year you can field a good team of guys that don't make the All-Star Game." Young went into Friday's game hitting .317 with a .365 on-base percentage and a .507 slugging percentage. Longoria was .304/.379/.529, Beltre was .342/.382/.545 and Rodriguez was at .280/.358/.472. Manager Ron Washington expects Young to be selected. "He is the Texas Rangers All-Star and he's having a good year," Young said. "If the manager doesn't choose him, I guarantee you the players will."
Fifth starter skipped for Angels series
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers, with a day off on Monday, have decided to skip their fifth starter in the rotation. That means Scott Feldman, Colby Lewis and C.J. Wilson will start the three-game series against the Angels that starts Tuesday in Anaheim.The Rangers originally planned to use the fifth starter -- either Dustin Nippert or Matt Harrison -- against the Angels on Tuesday. They wanted to use the off-day to give all their starters an extra day of rest. "We sat around and discussed it and felt it was the best way to go," manager Ron Washington said. The Rangers won't need a fifth starter until next Saturday against the White Sox in Arlington. They also will need that spot just twice between now and the All-Star break. After the All-Star break the Rangers are hoping they will have either Rich Harden or Derek Holland off the disabled list. Washington was asked before Friday's game to describe what his bullpen has meant to his team. "Indescribable," Washington said. "They've been lights out. They've come in and shut the door. It's been a joy to watch." Rangers relievers went into Friday's game with a combined 18 wins, most in the American League. They also led with 25 saves. They had allowed just one run in the last 17 innings and had a 1.29 ERA in their last 15 games. "Where we have an advantage is we have a lot of guys who are used to being in tough situations," Darren O'Day said. "Even a guy like Alexi Ogando, since he's been here, you put him in a tough situation and he's pitched well. A lot of teams have two or three guys they trust in tough situations. This team has everybody. We have a deep bullpen."
Washington takes pride in streak
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers' 11-game winning streak has come against four National League teams with losing records: Milwaukee, Florida, Houston and Pittsburgh.Manager Ron Washington bristled when that was brought up before Friday's game against the Astros and went off on a long siloquoy on the subject. "Every team has a weak part of their schedule," Washington said. "If Anaheim right now was kicking [tail] the way we're kicking [tail] they'd be a great team. But since the Texas Rangers are doing it, it's weak opponents. They're a Major League team. "I didn't see Pittsburgh lie down in those three games we played them. I didn't see Milwaukee lie down. I didn't see Florida lie down. We played better baseball than them, bottom line. We all know Pittsburgh is short. They've got a bunch of young kids. That's not our fault. It's Pittsburgh's fault. "When we had all those young kids around here, nobody was giving us any reasons. It's part of the schedule. Everybody's got a weak part of the schedule, so people say. I don't look at it like that. On any given night, any team can get beat. It's not the best team that wins; it's the team that plays the best. You can play the best team in the world. If you play better than them that night, does it make you better than them?"
The Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation received a check for $490,000 before Friday's game, the proceeds from the 2010 Park Place Dealership Triple Play Event. ... The Rangers and Astros are playing a day game on Saturday because the FOX Saturday Game of the Week between the Dodgers and Yankees is at night. If the Rangers-Astros game was at night, neither team would be able to broadcast it locally. ... Longest winning streak by a local professional sports team: the NBA Mavericks won 17 straight in 2007.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.