05/16/10 7:00 PM ET
Guerrero, Andrus both pinch-hit on Sunday
By James Hall / MLB.com
Both Vladimir Guerrero and shortstop Elivis Andrus were out of the starting lineup on Sunday, while Julio Borbon played center field, returning to the lineup after sitting the first two games in a three-game series against the Blue Jays. Andres Blanco, who started back-to-back games for the first time this season, assumed shortstop duties for Andrus.
Andrus, who wound up hitting a pinch-hit single for Blanco on Sunday, snapped a 37-game streak in which he was in the Rangers' starting lineup.
Guerrero was also used as a pinch-hitter in a critical moment in the seventh inning of Sunday's game, but hit into a double play, squandering an opportune scoring chance for the Rangers, who fell to the Blue Jays, 5-2.
"Day off of this turf," Washington said. "Vlad and Elvis have been grinding it the last six or seven ballgames. This is a plan I had already made with Vlad, and after last night's game I decided to give Elvis [a rest]."
Nelson Cruz, who came off the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring on Friday, was expected to sit one game over the weekend, but has remained in the lineup for all three games against Toronto.
"I checked with Cruz and he's fine," Washington said. "There is nothing wrong with him, he says he's great."
The struggling Borbon -- he's hitting .213 with a .234 on-base percentage -- was anxious to get back on the field, especially with his past success against Sunday's starter, Brandon Morrow -- he's 1-for-3 with a three-run home run against the right-hander.
"Two days ago I came into Toronto knowing they had two lefties, but I really didn't know my chances of playing," Borbon said. "But against Morrow, I've seen him before so I figured I would have a shot of getting in there."
Borbon insisted that despite the slump his confidence remains intact. However, he did cite a slight change to his approach at the plate.
"[I have to] go in their with the mentality to make them throw strikes," Borbon said. "That's one of the things that I've been working on -- I have to try to become more consistent."
Harrison throws pain-free bullpen session
TORONTO -- Rangers starting pitcher Matt Harrison, who has been sidelined on the 15-day disabled list with left biceps tendinitis, threw a bullpen prior to Sunday's game against the Blue Jays.
Harrison threw 25 pitches at roughly 80 percent with no pain.
The 24-year old left-hander had tried to pitch through pain in the past, but has decided to take a different approach this time around.
"It's May, I guess I don't want to rush it right now," Harrison said. "Take it slow and make sure it's healthy right now. If I try and push I'm going to have the soreness again, the same thing I had before."
In 2009 Harrison was limited to just 63 1/3 innings before undergoing season ending surgery to remove a rib in order to alleviate pain in his shoulder -- diagnosed as thoracic outlet syndrome.
Harrison -- 1-1 with a 5.29 ERA in 2010 -- will likely throw again in a couple days at closer to 100 percent velocity. He is eligible to come off the DL on May 22, when the Rangers take on the Cubs.
Strop activated, optioned on same day
TORONTO -- Right-hander Pedro Strop woke up before the sun had risen Saturday morning to catch his 3 a.m. flight to Toronto -- he was going to the Show.
The 26-year old Strop, who was playing for Triple-A Oklahoma City when he got the call, flew from Oklahoma City to Detroit, then from Detroit to Toronto, arriving in the second inning of Saturday's affair with the Blue Jays -- a game the Rangers lost, 6-0.
Sadly for Strop, the visit was short-lived.
On Sunday, the Rangers activated infielder Joaquin Arias from the 15-day disabled list, meaning Strop would once again be optioned to Triple-A, likely rejoining Oklahoma City at the conclusion of this three-game series with the Blue Jays.
Guillermo Moscoso, who was also called up along with Strop, will stick with the big club to add depth to an exhausted relief corps, which was second in the American League with 121 1/3 relief innings.
With only three players on his bench, and Andres Blanco being the only true infielder, Rangers manager Ron Washington could not justify keeping both Moscoso and Strop around in place of Arias.
"He'll be the guy we can use everywhere," Washington said of Arias. "Gives us more versatility [off the bench]. We only had one guy who could handle the infield, now we have two."
Prior to being sidelined with a lower back strain, Arias was batting .321 over 53 at-bats.
Rangers reliever Warner Madrigal is scheduled to pitch one inning in a rehab assignment Sunday for Double-A Frisco. Warner has been on the 60-day disabled list with right forearm soreness since the start of the season and is eligible for reinstatement as early as June 4. The 26-year old allowed 14 earned runs over 12 2/3 innings last season ... Prior to Saturday's 6-0 loss to the Blue Jays, the Rangers were one of three teams not to be shut out this season. The only two remaining clubs are the Marlins and the Angels, whom the Rangers will play on Monday in Arlington ... Both second baseman Ian Kinsler (.475) and third baseman Michael Young (.448) entered Sunday among the American League leaders in on-base percentage, ranking fifth and sixth respectively. Kinsler has walked seven times over his past four games, reaching safely in all but two of his 15 games since being activated from the DL. Young has also been on fire, reaching base in 12 straight contests.
James Hall is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.