ARLINGTON -- Ian Kinsler scored four runs in Friday's game, giving him 105 on the season. That allowed him to set a career high, passing his previous best of 102 set in 2008. He also moved into second place in the American League behind Curtis Granderson of the Yankees, who has 126 entering Saturday.Ultimately, that's what leading off comes down to, scoring runs. "I think that should be the ultimate barometer at any position in the lineup -- scoring runs and RBIs," Kinsler said. "That's always a goal of mine and will continue to be. But a lot of it is the guys behind you." Kinsler had three singles in four at-bats on Friday. He walked in the first, lined out hard in his next at-bat and then reached with hits on a slow grounder to shortstop, a popout to right that deflected off the second baseman's glove and a hard grounder up the middle that hit the pitching rubber and caromed into right field. That raised his average to .248, still the lowest of his career. But he has an .819 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) entering Saturday that is currently the second highest in his six Major League seasons. His 15 home runs since the All-Star break are the most in the AL. "It's been a weird year," Kinsler said. "I hit a scorching line drive that got caught and three hits that I barely got wood on. That's the way this year has been going. As long as I can continue producing runs, I'm happy with the way I have impacted the game."
Hamilton back after daughter's birth
ARLINGTON -- Josh Hamilton was in the Rangers' lineup on Saturday, one day after missing a game to be with his wife, Katie, while she gave birth to their fourth child, Stella Faith, on Friday.There is no paternity leave in September, because rosters are expanded. That means the Rangers can't pad their league lead with a fourth paternity leave. But Hamilton is not expected to miss more time. "He is going to be here the rest of the way," manager Ron Washington said. Craig Gentry stepped in for Hamilton on Friday and went 2-for-3 with a stolen base. He is now 16-for-16 in stolen bases this season. That is tied for the fourth-most stolen bases in one season without getting caught in recorded Major League history. Chase Utley of the Phillies was 23-for-23 in 2009. "That's why we've got other players," Washington said. "We do what we have to do and move on." Gentry started even though there was a right-hander on the mound for the Athletics. Gentry has started 31 games this season and 25 have come with a left-hander on the mound. Gentry made five starts against right-handers early in the season when both Hamilton and Nelson Cruz were on the disabled list. But this was his first start against a right-hander since May 22 and Roy Halladay of the Phillies. Washington could have given rookie Leonys Martin, a left-handed hitter, his first Major League start, but preferred Gentry's experience. "If we were five or six games up, but right now, we can't afford it," Washington said. "The kid is going to be a great player, but we haven't seen much of him. We don't want to jeopardize him or the club." Gentry is hitting .175 against left-handers but .327 against right-handers.
Treanor gets Feliz to mix pitches
ARLINGTON -- Catcher Matt Treanor, acquired from the Royals on Aug. 31, was reunited behind the plate with Rangers closer Neftali Feliz on Friday night. The result was a 1-2-3 inning to finish off the Rangers' 13-4 victory over the A's.Feliz, pitching for the first time in nine days, was hitting 101 mph on the radar gun. But Treanor also had him doing something else. "The results were good, and he made him use all his pitches," manager Ron Washington said. Feliz struck out Brandon Allen with a 91-mph sinker for the first out. He also got strikes on 82-mph sliders to the next two hitters: Cliff Pennington and David DeJesus. Feliz still relies mainly on his fastball, but the Rangers are still anxious to see him master his secondary pitches as they approach October. He will need them against teams like the Red Sox and Yankees. "They go from outing to outing," Washington said. "Sometimes when he throws them, they are not what he wants. Friday night, they were. It's important that he be able to show it so they don't sit on his fastball. He's making a concerted effort to mix his pitches, and he's throwing them for strikes."
Cruz says he's ready to return to lineup
ARLINGTON -- Nelson Cruz, who has been on the disabled list since Aug. 29 with a strained left hamstring, said he feels he is ready to return to the lineup."I feel I could play right now if they let me," Cruz said. Cruz ran in the outfield on Saturday and said his leg felt better than Friday, when he ran the bases at about "80 percent." The Rangers will probably put Cruz through further tests on Sunday, take Monday off and see where he is on Tuesday. Cruz is eligible to come off the disabled list Tuesday. The Rangers may still want to send him to the Minor Leagues for some at-bats, but part of that depends on Triple-A Round Rock or Double-A Frisco still being in the playoffs. "We're not making any decisions until Tuesday," manager Ron Washington said.
Colby Lewis earned his fourth victory against the Athletics on Friday night. He is one of four pitchers to have beaten the Athletics four times in a season since the three-division realignment in 1994. The others were Joe Saunders (2009), Felix Hernandez (2007) and Kenny Rogers (2005). Only one pitcher has beaten the Athletics five times in a season since they moved to Oakland in 1968. Ferguson Jenkins was 5-0 for the Rangers against Oakland in 1974. Jenkins is the only Rangers pitcher to beat one team five times in a single season. In 1974, he had five wins against both the Athletics and Twins. The Rangers have nine players with 20 or more doubles, the most in the Major Leagues.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.