LAA@TEX: Garza goes six strong, gives up three runs

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers didn't acquire a bat before Wednesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline, which is just fine for the players in the clubhouse. Coming off a 14-run performance Tuesday, the players feel there's enough talent on the team to start producing consistently at the plate.

"I think we have a good team, and I think we got to play up to our potential," A.J. Pierzynski said. "If we can do that, I think we'll be fine."

The Rangers won their last two games before the Deadline on walk-off home runs against the Angels. Although the club didn't make a splash Wednesday, it did acquire Matt Garza last Monday, which some players felt give Texas one of the best pitching staffs in the Majors.

"I'm sure they did the best they could," David Murphy said. "We gave up plenty of prospects for Matt Garza, so I'm sure they didn't want to give up everyone. In the end, we have a great offense, we just have to perform like we're capable of. Maybe they're showing they have confidence in what we have."

The Rangers haven't received consistent production from Murphy, Mitch Moreland and Elvis Andrus this season. Moreland snapped an 0-for-23 slump Tuesday with a single in the eighth. He was 3-of-40 since the All-Star break entering Wednesday's game. Murphy hit 10-of-37 in his past 13 games, raising his batting average to .223.

"We've got to get Murphy and Moreland and some other guys going," manager Ron Washington said. "We've got to hold this together, which I know we're capable of doing."

Andrus has hit the ball well since the break. He entered Wednesday's action with the longest active hitting streak in the Majors at 12.

"We got plenty of good players," Andrus said. "It's always good when you get some help, and I think we did in Matt Garza. We got a good team, good hitters. I think we're one of the best, or the best, pitching in the league right now. That's what you're looking for."

Tepesch playing catch, says elbow improving

HOU@TEX: Tepesch strikes out nine in five-plus frames

ARLINGTON -- Right-hander Nick Tepesch hasn't progressed from playing catch, but he said he's feeling better. He threw from 90 feet Wednesday and said he's been playing catch "on and off" since he went on the 15-day disabled list July 7 with right elbow inflammation.

"I won't know until I get on a mound, but it's definitely feeling better," Tepesch said.

He's still unsure when he'll throw off a mound. The 24-year-old right-hander has thrown 252 1/3 innings over the past two seasons with the Rangers and in the Minor Leagues.

"Anytime you're on the disabled list, you want to get better quick, and get back out there as soon as possible, but you got to listen to your body," Tepesch said. "It's just one of those things where you got to give it time."

Tepesch, who has missed 21 games since the injury, is 4-6 with a 4.85 ERA in 16 starts for the Rangers this season. Since he went on the disabled list, the club has acquired Matt Garza and sent Colby Lewis and Matt Harrison on medical rehabilitation assignments.

Soria unshaken after first difficult outing with Rangers

Soria excited by his performance in return to Majors

ARLINGTON -- Joakim Soria had his first rough outing for the Rangers since being activated off the disabled list on July 7. Soria had thrown six consecutive scoreless outings before giving up three runs in the seventh inning on Tuesday night against the Angels.

Soria, who is coming back from Tommy John surgery, retired the first two hitters then allowed a single to Mike Trout. He followed that up by walking Mark Trumbo and Howie Kendrick.

"It's part of the game," Soria said. "I think I made really good pitches. They were close, but I looked at the video and they were balls. But I don't know how they didn't swing at them."

Josh Hamilton then came up with the bases loaded and manager Ron Washington brought in left-hander Robbie Ross. Hamilton ended up hitting a three-run double and all the runs were charged to Soria. Washington said it's to be expected that Soria will have an occasional rough outing.

"It's understandable coming off surgery," Washington said. "There will be days when he looks awesome and days when he'll be close. Last night he made pitches that were close that he didn't get and the inning got away."

Worth noting

• Geovany Soto remained in the lineup Wednesday for a third straight game at catcher. Rangers manager Ron Washington said he wanted to keep Soto in due to his hot bat. He wasn't concerned that Soto caught 10 innings Tuesday night against the Angels.

"He could lose the weight," Washington said.

• Derek Holland said first-base umpire Jerry Layne wouldn't talk to him when he asked for an explanation on the balk call in the fourth inning Tuesday. Holland said he didn't say anything offensive, especially due to Layne's quick ejection of Angels manager Mike Scioscia in the second for arguing a call.

• The D-backs will now send Zeke Spruill to the mound Thursday instead of Randall Delgado. Yu Darvish will still pitch for the Rangers in the makeup game of a May 29 contest that was postponed due to field conditions. It will be just the second one-game makeup date in Rangers Ballpark history.