04/13/12 11:15 PM ET
Nathan back in Minnesota, feeling strong
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
Young sets Rangers record for total bases
MINNEAPOLIS -- Rangers infielder Michael Young has set another club offensive record and is close to toppling another.
With singles in the fourth and sixth innings in Friday night's 4-1 win over the Twins, Young has 3,074 career total bases, surpassing Juan Gonzalez's 3,073.
Between Young and Gonzalez, they hold 11 major club batting records. Young leads in games, at-bats, runs, hits, doubles, triples, total bases and strikeouts. Gonzalez leads in home runs, RBIs, and extra-base hits."I played with so many great players but Juan is probably the most pure hitter we've had," Young said. "I've never seen a guy who could hit the ball so consistently hard. He used to put on a display hitting off a tee, much less batting practice or a game. I enjoyed playing with Juan, it's nice to be up there with him." Young also has 64 career sacrifice flies. That leaves him two short of the career club record of 66 held by Ruben Sierra.
Cruz, Beltre expected to DH over weekend
MINNEAPOLIS -- Nelson Cruz was in right field for the eighth straight game on Friday night and Adrian Beltre was at third base. They are the only two players who have started all eight games at their Opening Day position.That will likely change this weekend. Manager Ron Washington said he would like to use both of them at designated hitter this weekend. One would start at DH on Saturday and one would start on Sunday. Washington wants to start giving players days off early to keep them strong the entire season. "I just feel I have 25 guys I can put out there and not miss a beat," Washington said. "If I can give guys off a day here or there, I'm going to do it." Josh Hamilton is the only other player who has started eight games in the field. He was back in center on Friday after starting in left on Thursday afternoon. Shortstop Elvis Andrus was also back in the lineup on Friday night after getting Thursday off. "He started getting antsy around the seventh inning," Washington said. "I told him, 'Forget it, you're not going in.'"
Uehara's pitches sharper out of Arizona climate
MINNEAPOLIS -- Rangers manager Ron Washington said reliever Koji Uehara's split-fingered fastball is looking sharp again now that he is out of the dry, high altitude Arizona climate of Spring Training. Uehara has retired six of seven batters he has faced over his first two outings of the season.Washington said the Arizona climate can affect a lot of pitchers' breaking stuff if they are not used to it. "It affects the depth ... it's not biting," Washington said. "It didn't affect just him, it affected a lot of people. It took Koji time to figure it out. This was his first time in Arizona. Those who have pitched in Arizona a long time know that going in." Uehara had a 10.61 ERA in the Cactus League but also allowed just one run in his last six innings, including two exhibition games in Texas, going into the season. "He feels good," Washington said. "We're not going to hesitate to give Koji the ball."
When Craig Gentry was caught stealing in the fifth inning Thursday, it ended his streak of 19 straight stolen bases to start his career. That was the longest such streak since Jacoby Ellsbury opened his career with the Red Sox by stealing 25 straight in 2007-08. The Red Sox are scheduled to pitch Jon Lester and Josh Beckett during their two-game series against the Rangers on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The Rangers are expected to face Cy Young winner Justin Verlander next Saturday in the third game of a four-game series with the Tigers at Comerica Park. As of Friday, the Rangers had five starters with a victory. They are the only Major League rotation to have done that. The Rangers, going into Friday night, are 21-14 on Friday the 13th, including winning five of their last seven. Rangers pitchers went into Friday's game having not allowed a walk in 26 innings.
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.