09/25/10 4:09 PM ET
Ellsbury knows what Hamilton is going through
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
Cantu gets another start at first base
OAKLAND -- Manager Ron Washington, before Friday's game, wasn't sure if Jorge Cantu would start at first base on Saturday. But after Friday's 10-3 victory over the A's, Washington was ready to get Cantu back out there.Cantu was 1-for-3 with a double, and also made two excellent defensive plays in the third inning when the Rangers were only up, 1-0. "He saved us defensively," Washington said. "It's not always offense. He has been doing a great job at first base since we got him." Jeremy Hermida led off the third inning with a single, and Cliff Pennington followed with a hard grounder right at Cantu. He made the grab, stepped on first and then got Hermida in a rundown to complete the double play. Mark Ellis then hit a sharp grounder down the first-base line, and Cantu made a terrific diving stop to get the third out of the inning. "I take a lot of pride in my defense," Cantu said. "Defense wins a lot of games, too." So Cantu, a right-handed hitter, was back in the lineup for a third straight day with a left-hander, Gio Gonzalez, on the mound for the Athletics. He is trying to reinforce the Rangers' confidence in including him on the postseason roster as their right-handed-hitting first baseman. He is currently hitting .203 (15-for-74) with no home runs or RBIs in 24 games with the Rangers since he was acquired from the Marlins at the Trade Deadline, but still may be their best option against left-handed pitching. "I'm just trying to get on a roll," Cantu said. "All I can do is get ready for the playoffs. I've made a lot of progress, and I'm just trying to carry it into the game."
Vlad continues to pile up numbers
OAKLAND -- Vladimir Guerrero had a home run and a three-run double in the Rangers' 10-3 victory over the Athletics on Friday night. The hits were big in the game and also notable in other ways: Guerrero leads the Major Leagues with a career-best 52 RBIs and his 31 go-ahead RBIs are the second most in the Majors. Cincinnati's Joey Votto has 34. Guerrero now has 111 RBIs on the season, fourth in the American League and 61 more than he had all of last year. He is the fifth right-handed hitter to drive in 110 runs in Rangers history. Juan Gonzalez did it five times, Alex Rodriguez did it three times and one each by Jeff Burroughs and Ivan Rodriguez. Guerrero has 103 RBIs as a designated hitter. He is only the second player to drive in 100 runs as a DH in Rangers history. Rafael Palmeiro holds the club record with 115 in 1999.
Reliever Frank Francisco, on the disabled list with a strained muscle in his right rib cage, had a light day of throwing on Saturday. He played a short game of catch, but did not have any setbacks. He will have a much more extended throwing session on Sunday. ... Matt Treanor started at catcher on Saturday, with Bengie Molina getting the day off with a day game after a night game. ... Tommy Hunter is now 13-4 on the season, a .765 winning percentage that is tied with Danny Darwin (13-4 in 1980) for the highest in club history for pitchers with at least 15 decisions. ... Alexi Ogando had not allowed a run in 11 straight appearances until allowing one in the eighth inning on Friday.
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.