Washington sets second-half rotation
Hunter to open four-game set against Red Sox
ARLINGTON -- Rangers manager Ron Washington has set his rotation for the beginning of the second half of the season.Tommy Hunter will start the Rangers' opening game in Boston on Thursday and Colby Lewis will take the mound in the second game. Newly-acquired Cliff Lee, who threw a complete game on Saturday on just 95 pitches, will start Saturday while C.J. Wilson will throw the finale on Sunday. Scott Feldman, who began the season as the Opening Day starter, will start the opening game against the Tigers in Detroit the next day. "Mainly get these guys that proper amount of rest," Washington said. "We also set it up so we can get our best pitchers against some of the toughest teams." Washington set the rotation up in the manner he did so Lee and Wilson were guaranteed to start games against the Rangers' AL West rivals. Should the rotation remain the same, Lee would start in the opening game against the Angels in Arlington on July 22 and would be guaranteed a start against the Athletics a week later. "We tried to make sure we had C.J. and Cliff Lee in the mix against Oakland and Anaheim," Washington said. "Make sure we had them in the mix against Boston." Hunter, Lee and Wilson will all receive six days' rest, but Lee will likely pitch in Wednesday's All-Star Game. Lewis will get eight days between starts while Feldman will get nine.
Hamilton, Andrus receive day off on Sunday
ARLINGTON -- Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus and outfielder Josh Hamilton both received the day off in the club's final game before the All-Star break.Manager Ron Washington said he reached the decision with Hamilton days ago, but recently decided on Andrus. The two will play in the All-Star Game in Anaheim on Wednesday. "Hamilton, we discussed this when we came off the last road trip," Washington said.
Washington blamed Andrus' baserunning errors in a 6-1 loss to the Orioles on Saturday for part of the problem. Andrus was caught in a rundown twice in the series-clinching win for the O's."Elvis, the guy is fatigued. You can tell," Washington said. "When Elvis is fatigued, you see things like what happened yesterday on the basepaths. He isn't going anywhere, gets picked off. Ball gets past the pitcher, squibbles off the bat, takes off to third. That's when you know Elvis is fatigued." Washington can also tell in Andrus' performance at the plate. He's hitting just .188 (6-for-32) with an RBI on this homestand. "You watch his bat head the past couple of days. It's been mighty slow," Washington said. "He's been fighting. I want him to get as much time off between now and Thursday as I possibly can. I'll give him a day. Of course, he'll have to deal with that hoopla tomorrow and then the All-Star Game and then fly Wednesday. He needs it." As a result, center fielder Julio Borbon hit in the leadoff spot in place of Andrus while David Murphy took over in left field while batting fifth in the lineup. Andres Blanco played shortstop, batting ninth. But Borbon, who is batting just .178 with five RBIs in the leadoff spot compared to .303 with 16 RBIs in the nine-hole, said his approach won't change. "It's the same approach. I've been able to find that out as I've been going on throughout the first half," Borbon said. "Earlier, it was a little hard to adjust because I'd been so used to hitting early. But once the team gets going, you forget about that and you just pay attention to the game. It actually gives you a little bit of a chance to pay attention to what the hitter's doing when you're batting ninth."
Ugandan king throws first pitch in Arlington
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers had an interesting guest throw out the first pitch of Sunday's finale against the Orioles at the Ballpark in Arlington.His Royal Majesty King Oyo, the reigning Omukama of Toro in Uganda made his first visit to a Major League Baseball game. "I did not know that. Here? I did not know that. Are you serious?" an incredulous Julio Borbon asked before the game. "That's awesome. I'm looking forward to seeing that. I've never met any king. That's awesome." Oyo is one of the youngest reigning monarchs in the world at age 18. Accompanying him was Her Royal Highness, Best Kemigisa, the Queen Mother, and the honorable David K. Mureeba, the honorary Consul General for the Republic of Uganda in Dallas. Former Rangers pitcher Rich Hand also accompanied Oyo.
Josh Hamilton saw his 29-game home hitting streak end Saturday, one shy of tying the club record. ... The Rangers have lost three straight for just the fourth time this season. ... Cliff Lee, who will represent the Rangers at the All-Star Game, became the only player ever selected with just one appearance for his team. Tom Seaver represented the Reds in 1977 after making just six starts. ... Lee joined fellow Rangers Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz, Vladimir Guerrero, Ian Kinsler and Hamilton in receiving their Majestic Athletic All-Star batting practice jerseys on-field prior to Sunday's game.
Chris Cox is an associate reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.