05/28/10 8:09 PM ET
Hamilton, Texas glad to be out of Metrodome
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
Their first impression was that it's not the Metrodome. That made everybody happy.
"Anything has to be better than what they had before," said outfielder Josh Hamilton.
The Rangers biggest complaint at the Metrodome was the indoor artificial turf. It was much harder than natural grass, and even a three-day visit could cause problems for players not used to the surface.
Hamilton knows. He injured his back on the Metrodome turf in August last year and ended up missing most of September. He played in just two of the Rangers' final 30 games.
Manager Ron Washington used to consider giving his regulars time off or a game at designated hitter in the Metrodome. That no longer needs to be the case.
"It makes a big difference in that respect," Washington said.
Washington was also interested to note that the Twins have made just 10 errors in 47 games, so moving from artificial turf to grass hasn't hurt their defense.
"Going outside hasn't affected their defense," Washington said. "People said in the dome they had no bad hops, but now that they're outside, they can still catch that rock."
Rangers to return Moscoso to Triple-A
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Rangers are planning to activate pitcher Matt Harrison off the disabled list on Saturday and return pitcher Guillermo Moscoso to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Moscoso has pitched just once since being called up to the Majors, hurling two-thirds of an inning against the Orioles on May 20, allowing two runs on two hits and two walks.
"We just haven't had the opportunity to pitch him," said Rangers manager Ron Washington. "We've been in some close ballgames and didn't have the opportunity."
Moscoso will go back to the Oklahoma City rotation. He was 2-2 with a 2.95 ERA in seven starts for the RedHawks before being called to the big leagues on May 15.
Harrison will return as a reliever. He made two appearances on medical rehabilitation assignment and allowed one run on three hits in three innings for Double-A Frisco. He walked none and struck out four.
The Rangers wanted Harrison to have one session with pitching coach Mike Maddux on Friday before activating him.
Days off to help ease burden on bullpen
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Rangers are hoping their days off on Monday and Thursday helped ease the burden on their overworked bullpen. Texas has another day off on Monday, which should also help a team that leads the American League with 154 relief innings pitched.
Chris Ray is tied for the AL lead with 25 appearances, Neftali Feliz is tied for third with 24 appearances and Darren Oliver, Darren O'Day and Frank Francisco are all tied for eighth with 22 appearances.
Francisco should be fully rested. Going into Friday night's game against the Twins, he has not pitched in four days. Prior to his brief respite, he had pitched in three straight and five of six contests.
Andres Blanco, going into Friday's game, had not played in nine straight games. ... Sunday night's game is either on ESPN or ESPN2. If the Celtics eliminate the Magic from the NBA playoffs, the Rangers will play on ESPN. If the teams go to a Game 7, then the Rangers are on ESPN2. ... Target Field is the 41st ballpark the Rangers have played in during their time in Texas. They have lost the past four times they have made their preliminary appearance in a new ballpark. They won at the Marlins' ballpark -- now called Sun Life Stadium -- on June 18, 2004, but have since lost at Philadelphia, Disney's Wide of Sports complex in Orlando against the Rays, Washington and at the new Yankee Stadium.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.