Kinsler makes first start of season at leadoff
Washington will consider all options until Andrus returns
TORONTO -- Second baseman Ian Kinsler, who participated in all three games vs. the Twins over the weekend after missing 33 contests with a strained left groin muscle, was slotted in the leadoff spot in Monday's series opener against the Blue Jays.
It marked the first time all season Kinsler has hit in that position, but with the injury to regular leadoff man Elvis Andrus, manager Ron Washington thought it was the most appropriate move under the circumstances.
"It depends on who I have in the lineup," said Washington, as to whether the change would be a fixture until Andrus' return, likely later this week. "If I'm playing [Cristian Guzman] on a certain [day], I'll put Guzman up there. Today the way the lineup shook out, Kinsler was my perfect choice."
Kinsler, who has hit in the No. 3 spot consistently this year, has led off 259 games over the course of his five-year career. Washington noted that Kinsler would return to batting third after garnering a few more reps after returning from injury.
"I just don't feel like he's totally there yet, as far as having at-bats since coming off the disabled list," Washington said. "He'll go up there and still show you the good eye. He sees a pitch he likes, he can get you one run."
Washington anticipates Andrus (strained right hamstring) returning sometime between Wednesday and Friday. However, with the harsh turf at Rogers Centre, the Rangers skipper said he might hold the young shortstop back an extra day or two.
Hamilton starts to feel better after crash
TORONTO -- Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton, who crashed into the center-field wall at Target Field on Saturday, said prior to Monday's contest that his bruised left ribcage is showing signs of improvement.
Hamilton was forced to leave Saturday's game, and he did not participate in Sunday's series finale. He was once again out of Monday's lineup, with his status listed as day-to-day.
"It does feel a little better," Hamilton said. "I've just had so much: my shoulder, my ribs, my lat muscle, I mean everything I hit [on the play] is sore. Like I said, it feels like a car crash -- it really does."
Hamilton underwent a massage on Monday to help stimulate blood flow and promote healing to the area. He said the biggest drawback of the injury is the limitations it puts on his breathing. Once that subsides, Hamilton said he would be willing to play through any other aches and pains.
"When I take a deep breath right now, I've got some popping and crackling going on," he said. "There is nothing broken; it's just muscular. If I get to the point where I can run and get the breathing in and out going, and be able to handle that, the rest should be OK."
In other injury news, Rangers manager Ron Washington said starting pitcher Cliff Lee (sore back) felt much better Monday, but not well enough to make his scheduled start Tuesday in Toronto. Washington added that it is more likely than not that Lee will be put back in the rotation sometime over the weekend -- possibly reassuming his turn on Sunday.
Washington brushes off interference call
TORONTO -- The dust has settled, and Rangers manager Ron Washington is at peace.
With the Rangers making a comeback in the final inning of Sunday's eventual 6-5 loss to the Twins, their promising late rally was stopped short by an unusual call from third-base umpire Alfonso Marquez.
The Rangers, trailing the Twins by four runs in the ninth, rallied for three runs but missed an opportunity to have outfielder Nelson Cruz hit with the bases loaded when Michael Young was called out at third base.
Young, who rounded third thinking of taking home to tie the ballgame, made contact with coach Dave Anderson before diving back to the bag, according to Marquez, who promptly called Young out to end the game.
As per rule 7:09, the runner is out if: "In the judgment of the umpire, the base coach at third base, or first base, by touching or holding the runner, physically assists him in returning to or leaving third or first base."
The video evidence was inconclusive at best, but Washington said he's over it -- though he does think umpires, like coaches, should be responsible for their actions.
"I know I want to be accountable, so I'm more than certain they want to be held accountable," Washington said. "He made a call that he thought he should have made. [I] didn't agree with it. It's over with, time to move on -- had my say yesterday, nothing I can do about it."
Rangers call up German to add speed
TORONTO -- Prior to Monday's 7-2 loss to the Blue Jays, the Rangers purchased the contract of utility infielder Esteban German from Triple-A Oklahoma City.
German can play multiple positions, including the outfield, and he gives the Rangers speed off the bench. He was batting .280 with a .371 on-base percentage and 50 stolen bases for Oklahoma City.
With the Rangers having a full 40-man roster, they opted to designate infielder Alex Cora for assignment.
Cora had only seven at-bats for the Rangers after being signed as a free agent Aug. 16.
Quotes to note
Rangers manager Ron Washington participated in the Twins' Legends Game at Target Field on Sunday. Washington, who was an outfielder for the organization from 1981-86, tweaked his hamstring trying to make a play on a ball hit to center field -- a humorous highlight that was played several times in the Rangers' clubhouse. His response: "Did they show my knocks?"
With mounting injuries and the Rangers dropping seven of their last 10 games, Washington said now is not the time to make excuses: "It all comes down to the players getting it done. We just have to stay positive and make them believe in each other. No one guy try to be a hero and think they'll get through it. You've got to play each day for what it is, and you have to take care of business on that day. And that is the message we constantly try to preach."
James Hall is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.