06/13/10 1:55 PM EST
Washington staying with Feliz as closer
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
"I'm giving the ball back to Feliz," Washington said. "I've got to keep his mental toughness up. Once again, we'll have some support behind him if need be. But we've got to get him back on his horse."
Feliz was called upon Saturday night to protect a 4-1 lead in the ninth inning. He couldn't get through the inning. He retired the first batter but gave up two singles and two walks. Washington pulled him with the bases loaded, one out and the Rangers leading, 4-2. Chris Ray retired the final two hitters to preserve the victory.
"I just call it one of those days," Feliz said. "That happens. I'm not looking more into it. I have to keep my head up and be ready to go the next time."
Feliz was pitching only for the second time in eight games and has only four appearances in June. He wasn't using that as an excuse, and the Rangers won't let him.
"That doesn't impact anything," pitching coach Mike Maddux said. "Don't give in to that. We've talked about that. Keep yourself sharp. That's why we play catch every day. In that role, it's either going to be blood or drought. If you maintain your delivery, you'll maintain command."
Ankle sidelines Kinsler in finale
MILWAUKEE -- Ian Kinsler belted a line drive to right-center field in the first inning of Saturday's game against the Brewers. It fell for a hit ... but only a single.
"That was a double," Kinsler said. "I just couldn't get out of the box like I normally do."
The problem is his right ankle. He suffered a high ankle sprain in Spring Training and is still not 100 percent. He's not sure if he'll ever be this season.
"I can't think of any treatment that will affect it short-term or long-term," Kinsler said. "It's just something that needs rest. I don't know if two days will help or three days will help."
Kinsler is getting two days off. He was out of the lineup on Sunday with Andres Blanco at second base. The Rangers are off on Monday, so Kinsler gets back-to-back days before Tuesday's game with the Marlins. Kinsler likes to talk his way into the lineup when manager Ron Washington wants to give him a day off, but Washington insisted he wasn't budging on Sunday.
"I just want to give him a day," Washington said. "Today is the perfect day. This way he gets two days and can come back Tuesday good and rejuvenated."
Kinsler, going into Sunday's game, has six hits in his past 15 at-bats but is still hitting .216 over his past 19 games. He also has one RBI in his last 11 games.
The biggest problem is still the ankle. Kinsler has four stolen bases in 40 games while being caught three times. He had 31 stolen bases last year and was caught five times. He entered the season with the highest success rate on stolen bases (91-for-104, 87.5 percent) in Rangers history. He is not the same this year.
"I'm just grinding," Kinsler said. "I'm just working, staying with what I know and grinding through it. The whole thing is getting out of the batter's box. Once I'm on the bases, I feel like I'm at top speed. Defense is all right because I can move around and stay loose. But stealing bases and getting out of the box is the biggest thing."
Borbon merits appearance in two spot
MILWAUKEE -- With Ian Kinsler out of the lineup on Sunday, manager Ron Washington decided to move Julio Borbon to the No. 2 spot in the order. Borbon was the Rangers' leadoff hitter to start the season but was dropped to the bottom of the order on April 20 after starting the season hitting .083.
But he took a career-high 10-game hitting streak into Sunday's game. He was hitting .485 (16-for-33) during the streak and his .471 average in June was the second highest in the American League. So Washington moved him up to the No. 2 spot behind Elvis Andrus.
"He gives me some options in the two spot," Washington said. "I've got a guy who can bunt, a guy I can hit and run with, and it gives me my best two speed guys at the top of the lineup."
Pitcher Evan Reed has been promoted from Double-A Frisco to Triple-A Oklahoma City to replace Alexi Ogando. ... Josh Hamilton, going into Sunday, led the Majors with 16 RBIs in June. But Justin Smoak had 12. ... The Rangers have scored the second-most runs in Interleague Play history. ... Rangers pitcher Rich Harden had an MRI on his strained gluteus muscle on Sunday. The results showed no significant damage. He was placed on the disabled list on Saturday.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.