NEW YORK -- Adrian Beltre was asked before Wednesday's game how his left hamstring muscle felt."It's good," Beltre said. "I haven't used it a lot lately. I haven't been on base." Beltre is right about that. He was the Rangers' best hitter through June and July but went into Wednesday's game against the Yankees with four hits in his last 26 at-bats. He was also hitting .216 (21-for-97) with two home runs and six RBIs in his last 25 games. Prior to that, Beltre hit .384 with seven home runs and 22 RBIs in a 29-game stretch. "I'm not how I want to be, but I'm battling to get out of it," Beltre said. "I'm just not feeling comfortable right now, but I always go through a stretch of the season where I struggle and try to find my swing. That's what I'm going through right now -- trying to find my rhythm and trying to feel comfortable." Beltre entered Wednesday hitting .301, the highest average on the team among the regulars who have enough at-bats to qualify for the batting title.
Washington rests Young for mental break
NEW YORK -- Michael Young was out of the Rangers' starting lineup for Wednesday night's 3-2 loss to the Yankees; it was a one-day break. Manager Ron Washington said Young will be back in the lineup on Thursday afternoon for the finale of the four-game series with the Yankees.Young did enter the game as a pinch-hitter for designated hitter Mitch Moreland in the top of the seventh inning, flying out to center field.
Young has played in every game for the Rangers since June 10. The last time he didn't start was on June 19."I felt it was time he got one," said Washington, who had Mike Olt in the lineup at first base. Washington said he was giving Young a physical and mental break and that the decision was not related to performance. Young started August strong but had sustained an 0-for-12 stretch before hitting an eighth-inning single on Tuesday night. Young is hitting .269 with three home runs and 45 RBIs. He entered the game with a .300 on-base percentage and .343 slugging percentage -- figures that would easily be career lows if the season ended on Wednesday. He hasn't hit a home run since May 7 against the Orioles. Washington said there are no plans to reduce Young's playing time down the stretch. "It's not Michael Young-like, but he brings more to the table than just what the numbers say," Washington said. "There's no one who is more upset about what's going on than Michael Young. But I believe in him, and I feel it will happen." Actually, Young continues not to express too much concern about his offensive performance and remains confident in his ability to hit. He said he did not feel that he needed a day off. "I feel great," Young said. "I'm looking forward to the next 2 1/2 months." As far as his hitting, Young said, "Stay the course, make good adjustments and continue to do what I usually do the rest of the season -- make good, consistent hard contact." Washington said Young is simply having a down season on a team that still entered Wednesday night's game with a six-game lead over the second-place Athletics in the American League West. "That's how I look at it," Washington said. "You can't play this game for a long time and not have a year where things don't go well. Babe Ruth had down years, Mickey Mantle had down years; everybody has down years."
Bruised toe forces Moreland to remain at DH
NEW YORK -- Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland was at designated hitter on Wednesday against the Yankees for the second time in as many nights, dealing with a bruised left toe. On Monday night, Moreland fouled a pitch off the toe, which was black and blue for a second game."It happens all the time," Moreland said. "I'm good. I can play. It feels a lot better today than it did [Tuesday] night." Moreland entered Wednesday's game hitless in his last eight at-bats but was hitting .326 with two home runs and seven RBIs in 15 games since his return from the disabled list on July 30. By using Moreland at DH, manager Ron Washington was also able to get Mike Olt in the lineup at first base. Olt has started four games at first and one at third base since being recalled from Triple-A Round Rock on Aug. 2. Olt has yet to start at DH, and Washington would prefer not to use him there. "It's hard for a young player to find a routine, get locked in and get ready as a DH," Washington said. "If he is involved in the game, he doesn't have to sit around and think."
Texas plans to use eight-man 'pen for weekend
NEW YORK -- The Rangers are planning to stay with an eight-man bullpen at least through the next series, against the Blue Jays this weekend in Toronto. The earliest they would add a utility infielder would be on Monday, when they open a four-game series with the Orioles at the Ballpark in Arlington. That is also the beginning of an 11-game homestand leading up to the Rangers' next off-day, Aug. 30.The Rangers still want the extra pitcher to ease the load on their staff, even though their starters have increased their innings total lately. "When we get back, we'll sit down and see how we go through the current rotation and if the pitching staff can handle it," Washington said. Shortstop Jurickson Profar -- the Rangers' top prospect, according to MLB.com -- is among the candidates to be called up, although no decision has been made. The Rangers could look outside the organization, but club officials said there is little interest in infielder Yuniesky Betancourt, who was released by the Royals. The Rangers did have some internal discussions about Betancourt but right now aren't interested in signing him.
Right-handed reliever Koji Uehara, on the disabled list with a strained lat muscle in his right rib cage, threw 20 pitches of batting practice in the Minor Leagues on Wednesday and had no problems. He will throw another round of BP on Saturday with Double-A Frisco.
Rangers general manager Jon Daniels was honored by Hunter College High School as its Alumnus of the Year on Wednesday night. Daniels is a native of Queens, N.Y., and the high school, associated with Hunter College, is located in Manhattan. The Rangers have promoted infielder Joey Gallo from the Arizona Rookie League Rangers to Class A Spokane in the Northwest League. Gallo hit his 18th home run on Tuesday before being promoted. Matt Harrison left Tuesday's 3-0 loss in the seventh with the score tied at 0 and ended up taking the loss. He became the second pitcher in club history to leave a 0-0 game in the seventh inning or later and take the loss. It happened to Dick Bosman in the first game in club history, on April 15, 1972, against the Angels. The Rangers are 27-4 this season when their starters give up one or no runs.
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.