05/06/12 1:55 AM ET
Beltre close to resuming full-time duties
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
Beltre entered Saturday's game as a pinch-hitter and belted a go-ahead three-run homer in the 11th inning to help the Rangers even the series with a 5-2 win."I certainly liked what I saw," Washington said before the game. "He's getting there. If he's not in there [Sunday], I'm hoping for Monday. The good thing is Adrian is pacing himself. I don't have to fight him on this. He's managing it. I just want him to feel confident he's getting there." Beltre did pinch-hit for third baseman Alberto Gonzalez in the ninth inning of Friday's 6-3 loss to the Indians and flied out to end the game. Washington said that if Beltre had reached base or the game had continued, Brandon Snyder would have gone in to play third base. Gonzalez was back at third base on Saturday. It was his fourth start at the position while Michael Young has started there five times. Beltre has made 18 starts at third base, two at designated hitter and has been out of the lineup for seven games. Going into Saturday, the Rangers were 1-5 in the six games that Beltre has not been in the lineup. "That makes it tough, and gives me more itch to get back out there," Beltre said. "But we're taking it cautiously. Maybe tomorrow or the next day."
Rangers want Feliz to follow Darvish's lead
CLEVELAND -- Rangers starter Yu Darvish is 3-0 with a 0.98 ERA in his last four outings going into Sunday's start against the Indians. Manager Ron Washington said Darvish's success recently comes from being able to establish his fastball and then mix in the secondary pitches."The mix has been very good, especially when he has a fastball that moves," Washington said. "He can do a lot off his fastball. Because he can establish his fastball, he gets swings on his secondary stuff. That's why he gets so many swings outside of the zone." That's the lesson the Rangers want Neftali Feliz to learn. On Friday, Feliz had a bullpen session with pitching coach Mike Maddux in which he threw all fastballs and nothing else. The point behind the session was getting Feliz to repeat his delivery and command his fastball. "We had a very productive session, repeating his delivery and getting back to basics," Maddux said. If Feliz can get back to locating his fastball, Washington said the secondary pitches will fall in line after that. Feliz's next start will be on Tuesday against the Orioles, and it will be his third straight start with five or more days' rest. After that, Feliz should be able to make three straight starts on the normal four days' rest for a starter. That may help him get into a more consistent groove. "I think it's all about repetition," Maddux said. "The more you throw, the sharper you're going to be. But going on six or seven days' rest between starts, I don't think it's a detriment. You take one or two days off at the front and then get back into your routine."
Cruz looking to find his groove at plate
CLEVELAND -- Nelson Cruz had an RBI single in the sixth inning of Friday's 6-3 loss to the Indians that snapped an 0-for-14 skid. But he still entered Saturday's game hitting .159 (7-for-44) with zero home runs and two RBIs in his last 12 games.Both Cruz and hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh believe Cruz is close to getting hot again. "I think I have been taking some good swings and having some good at-bats the last couple of games," Cruz said. "I'm missing some balls. It just needs to click. I think I'm getting to where I want to be." "I think he's just trying to find his rhythm, to be honest," Coolbaugh said. "Mechanically, he's just trying to get some things worked out and see the ball. I thought the last two games have been a lot better. He seems more comfortable. I think it's a matter of him having a couple of at-bats and getting some results so he feels like he's clicking again. I don't see anything that is cause for concern." Cruz was back in right field on Saturday night at Progressive Field. He is the only Rangers player who has started all 27 games in the field. Next is Ian Kinsler, who has 23 starts at second base and four at designated hitter. Cruz, Kinsler and Michael Young are the only Rangers who have played in all 27 games. "Even if you're struggling, you still want to think your swing is there and it's a matter of one swing to click," Cruz said. "I'm good. I know what I can do and what I'm capable of doing."
Young expected Rivera to make comeback
CLEVELAND -- Rangers infielder Michael Young said he wasn't surprised when Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera announced on Friday that he expects to pitch again in 2013. Rivera made the declaration even though he will likely miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL in his right knee."I feel bad for him, but I wasn't surprised one bit when he said he's coming back," Young said. "He's got a lot of pride. There's not a guy I respect more in the game than Mo. He's one of the best pitchers of all time and a great human. I wish him the best in his rehab, and hope that he comes back as fast as possible. Our game is much better with him in it." Young and Rivera have developed a strong relationship over the years. On the field, Young hasn't done too badly against baseball's all-timtop closer. Including the playoffs, Young is 8-for-25 (.320) against Rivera. "I can't say enough good things about him as a person and a professional," Young said. "You can tell the respect he has for the game and his opponents. He's a great competitor, it's always a challenge when I face him. I think he's what is right about the game of baseball."
Manager Ron Washington said Yorvit Torrealba will be behind the plate when Darvish pitches on Sunday. It will be his second time to catch Darvish. Elvis Andrus took a 24-game hitting streak against the Indians into Saturday's game. It's the second longest hitting streak by a player against one opponent in club history. Ivan Rodriguez had a 27-game hitting streak against Tampa Bay from 1998 to 2000. Triple-A Round Rock infielder Yangervis Solarte took a 15-game hitting streak into Saturday's game against Memphis. Round Rock outfielder Joey Butler had a 15-game hitting streak earlier in the season. Round Rock infielder Greg Miclat has been placed on the disabled list with a wrist injury to make room for Ryan Spilborghs, who was acquired from the Indians 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.