ARLINGTON -- With 1,998 hits on his career after his single in the third inning on Saturday, Michael Young finds himself at a level which few Major Leaguers have reached.Young said the key to reaching such a prestigious milestone is approaching each at-bat as if it's his last. "I think that's key," Young said. "No matter what the situation is in the game, you don't want to give at-bats away. They're too precious. I want to look back when it's all said and done and say that I competed with everything that I got. I've got a long way to go still to get to where I want to be, so it starts today, and I have to focus on tonight's game." This approach is shown through the consistency in Young's season numbers. In each of the last eight seasons, Young has totaled more than 170 hits and finished with a batting average higher than .300 in all but two of them. If Young gets those final two hits within the next 18 games he plays in, he would be the 11th-fastest hitter to reach 2,000 hits since 1900, along with the third-fastest right-handed batter. Of the 10 hitters ahead of him, all but still-active Ichiro Suzuki is in the Hall of Fame. While Young's contributions at the plate are more or less expected at this point, he's has been turning heads recently with his solid play at third in place of the injured Adrian Beltre. "He looks quicker to me," manager Ron Washington said. "That could be because he doesn't have to be out on the field grinding every day like he has been in the past. He's definitely been in better positions out there." Young, who started at third for the Rangers last season, said he is getting more comfortable as he plays more at third. "When you play defense, the more reps you get, the better you get," Young said. "Defensively, it's mostly about rhythm. The more balls you see, the better angles you take. You don't get that in a Spring Training or even a season."
Holland struggling with his consistency
ARLINGTON -- Derek Holland had his second outing of the season in which he allowed more runs than he recorded outs on Friday.At this point, according to manager Ron Washington, the only thing to do is encourage Holland and wait for his next outing as the 24-year-old struggles with finding his consistency. "That's the only way you can look at it with Derek," Washington said. "I thought he was competing, but he just couldn't locate his fastball. I think if you take [Indians catcher Carlos] Santana out of the mix, he's in good shape. But he just couldn't locate his fastball." Holland's first 13 pitches were fastballs, and the 13th was driven into the right-field seats by Santana. "I felt like I had a good fastball," Holland said. "I kind of got caught up in it. It wasn't me being me, but at the same time, I pitched a great game against Cleveland before and they were probably waiting to get back at me, and they did. You have to tip your hat to them." Prior to Saturday's game, Holland spent a lengthy amount of time talking with Rangers captain Michael Young. More than anything, Young said, Holland needs to just stay confident in his own abilities. "The biggest thing is the best players in this game just believe, and that never wavers," Young said. "They're confident and they trust themselves. He's going to be fine. He's still in that process of figuring things out, and that's what you have to do if you want to get to that elite level." Holland has shown flashes of brilliance, hurling four shutouts this season, but the problem is when he does not have his best stuff, he seems to struggle to get the job done with less-than-stellar pitches. "It's just about him being consistent," Washington said. "It's about him being young. I always say you can't trade for that, and you certainly can't go Draft that. You just put up with the times things don't go right. It don't make any sense to get upset with him."
Haggard, Simpson honor Washington with song
ARLINGTON -- Before Friday's game against the Indians, singer Merle Haggard and Bob Simpson, co-chairman of the Board of Directors of the Rangers, with his wife Janice, showed a music video of a song Haggard recorded that was dedicated to Rangers manager Ron Washington. The song is titled, "That's the Way Baseball Go."The song, an adaptation of Haggard's 1983 Grammy Award-winning hit "That's the Way Love Goes," is titled from Washington's phrase, made famous in last year's run to the World Series. "I thought it was awesome," Washington said. "They gave me a box of them. I thought it was wonderful what the Simpson family did. When I first said it, people made fun of me, but there was a message in it. It wasn't politically correct, but there was a message in it. Things happen in the game of baseball, and there's nothing you can do about it. That's the way it go." The video showed some of Washington's most animated reactions from the dugout, along with footage of the 2010 playoffs. "[Simpson] and his wife put some lyrics together, then put some video to it," Washington said. "It was awesome."
Kenny Rogers was formally inducted in the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame in a ceremony before Saturday's game against the Indians.
The Rangers had not come back to win while trailing by two runs with two outs in the ninth inning before Friday since July 9, 2008 against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
The Rangers have officially signed Connor Sadzeck, the team's 11th-round selection out of Howard (Texas) Junior College. He will work out in Arizona for the rest of the season. The Rangers have signed 26 of 51 picks, along with each of the top 5 and 16 of the top 19
Louie Horvath is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.