04/18/12 7:05 PM ET
Walks come around for patient Rangers
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
"A lot of it why we're not drawing walks was our timing is off," hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh said. "We're getting swings and misses, or fouling pitches off and getting into deep counts. Last night, our timing showed up, we were seeing the ball well and we started laying off some of those pitches, especially some of those [Jon] Lester was throwing down and away."
The Rangers went into Wednesday's game with 26 walks, the fourth fewest in the league. But after pounding the Red Sox, they also led the league in hitting (.290), runs scored (63), home runs (21) and slugging percentage (.522).
"I had the best seat in the house," Coolbaugh said. "I enjoy watching those guys perform. It's a testament to how talented they are and how much ability they have. One through nine, there are no holes in that lineup. It doesn't matter who we put in there."
Josh Hamilton has not drawn a walk in 46 at-bats. That's the second most at-bats in the Majors without a walk. Astros third baseman Chris Johnson has 47.
Lower back stiffness keeps Young out of lineup
BOSTON -- Infielder Michael Young was out of the Rangers' lineup on Wednesday night with some stiffness in his lower back, but the club expects him back in the lineup in a day or two.
"I've had this happen three or four times in my career, and after a day or two, everything is fine," Young said. "It's one of those things [where] a joint gets locked up in my back, and after the second day, it feels good. The training staff said, 'Let's give it a day to let it calm down and we'll be good to go.' This is my 12th year, [so] it's probably a wise move to start taking the advice of the training staff."
Young said he felt his back lock up on him in his first at-bat during Tuesday's 18-3 victory over the Red Sox. He struck out in that at-bat in the second inning and stayed in the game for three more at-bats.
Young grounded out, struck out and then hit a home run in the sixth inning. It was his second of the year.
"We were trying to talk him out of that at-bat, but he said he wanted to try it one more time," manager Ron Washington said. "He got the perfect pitch, the one pitch he could do something with. When he came back, we said that was it."
Brandon Snyder started at first base Wednesday while Mitch Moreland was at designated hitter. It was Moreland's first game since Friday in Minnesota after missing time because of an abscessed tooth. But Snyder got the start at first base, his second of the season.
"He's young," Washington said. "I don't feel like he could sit around and stay warm and have good at-bats, so I decided to put him on the field."
Darvish needs to get out left-handed hitters
BOSTON -- Yu Darvish makes his third start for the Rangers on Thursday, when he faces the Tigers at Comerica Park. Darvish has given up 17 hits in his first two starts, and left-handed hitters have been tough on him.
They are 14-for-38 (.368) with four doubles off Darvish. Right-handers have just three singles in 12 at-bats. The Tigers aren't stacked with left-handers, but they do have Prince Fielder, Alex Avila, Don Kelly and Brennan Boesch in their lineup swinging from the left side.
"It's not just left-handed hitters," Darvish said. "I have to make quality pitches and stay strong and get in better condition."
Manager Ron Washington said the two best pitches for a pitcher to use against left-handed hitters are a cut fastball inside and a sinker that rides away from them. Those are the two pitches -- when working -- that make Scott Feldman effective against left-handers. In a reverse manner, they are left-handed starter Matt Harrison's best pitches against right-handed hitters.
"He's got those pitches, it's just a matter of learning how to use them," Washington said.
Darvish is 1-0 with a 4.76 ERA in two starts.
"I think you'll be pleasantly surprised tomorrow," Washington said. "Each time he has had the ball, he's gotten better. If he shows the same progress, I expect he'll throw a really good game. He'll have his hands full with that Detroit lineup, but they'll have their hands full, too. It doesn't work one way."
Rangers had rough time at 100-year-old park
BOSTON -- The Red Sox will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park this weekend. This is not a ballpark that has been kind to the Rangers in the past 40 years, even though they have won nine of their last 14 here going into Wednesday's game.
The Rangers, going into Wednesday, are 83-128 at Fenway since moving to Texas in 1972. That goes back to June 19, 1972, when the Rangers played their first game here at Fenway and lost, 3-0, to Sonny Seibert.
Jim Sundberg is the Rangers' all-time leader with 53 games played in Fenway, while Pete O'Brien's .355 batting average is the highest of any player with at least 120 plate appearances. Juan Gonzalez's 18 home runs and 51 RBIs in 49 games are more than twice as many as any other Rangers player. Danny Darwin is the Rangers' pitching leader with five wins at Fenway, while Kenny Rogers pitched 19 games here -- eight starts and 11 relief appearances -- that is one more than Jeff Russell.
The Rangers' 18-3 victory on Tuesday in their 211th game at Fenway marked the most runs they have scored here and their largest margin of victory. It was also the first time they have hit six home runs in a game at Fenway.
Pudge to announce retirement Monday in Texas
BOSTON -- Catcher Ivan Rodriguez is retiring from Major League Baseball, and he wants to do so back with the team where he spent the best years of his career.
Rodriguez, who was a free agent and unable to find a job this offseason, is planning to officially announce his retirement, and he is expected to make it public on Monday in Arlington. The Rangers play the Yankees that night at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The Rangers have not made an official announcement, but there is likely to be a meaningful acknowledgement of his substantial contributions to the franchise.
Rodriguez spent 21 seasons in the Major Leagues, including his first 12 with the Rangers from 1991-2002. He also made a brief return with them for 28 games at the end of the 2009 season before spending the past two seasons with the Washington Nationals.
Rodriguez won 13 Gold Gloves Awards for his defense, including 10 with the Rangers. He also won seven Silver Slugger Awards for his offense, played in 14 All-Star Games and two World Series.
Red Sox outfielder Cody Ross on Rangers pitcher Colby Lewis: "It's frustrating. He doesn't really leave anything out over the plate to hit. He's not overpowering, but he knows how to pitch. He gets in hitter's counts and will throw you cutters, sliders."
The Marlins have signed pitcher Michael Main, the Rangers' former No. 1 Draft pick who was released by the Giants earlier this season.
Rangers pitchers did not walk a batter on Tuesday for the third time in 11 games.
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.