05/08/12 6:30 PM ET
Plano native Embry Texas' Honorary Bat Girl
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
Lowe getting job done in unheralded role
BALTIMORE -- Mark Lowe pitched the eighth inning in the Rangers' 14-3 victory over the Orioles on Monday night. It was his eighth appearance of the season and his first in a game in which the Rangers won since an 18-3 victory over Boston on April 17.The scoreless inning dropped his ERA to 1.00, the 11th lowest in the American League among relievers. Gone are any concerns the Rangers may or may not have had about Lowe during Spring Training. "I had a 4.00 ERA in the desert. ... I thought I threw the ball pretty well except for one or two outings," Lowe said. "I feel like I have been throwing the ball well for a while. It started in the last two or three outings of the spring and carried over into the season. I'm getting ahead of the hitters, and when I'm not ahead I'm able to make a pitch that's not necessarily a fastball. I'm throwing offspeed pitches for strikes, and then I'm able to make another pitch and get an out." He has the second lowest ERA on the Rangers' staff, but he does not have the most prominent role out of the bullpen. Most of the time it has been as a middle reliever when the Rangers are behind, or when they are way ahead. "It's probably the hardest of everything I've ever done," Lowe said. "You have to put yourself in a different mental situation. If you view yourself as a mopup guy, your execution is not going to be as good. It's tough to stay fresh when you're not out there every day. It's tough, but that's baseball. If you look at the arms that are coming out of our bullpen, that's probably the way it's going to be." Rangers relievers had a combined 2.02 ERA going into Tuesday's game against the Orioles. That was the second lowest in the Major Leagues, and there are many teams that could use Lowe in a more prominent role. "You can't think about that stuff," Lowe said. "I'm a free agent at the end of the season and I'd love to stay here. But you're never guaranteed of anything. You can't take anything for granted. I've had enough injuries to know that anything can happen. I'm just happy to be pitching well, healthy and on a winning team."
Rainy weather keeps Beltre at DH spot
BALTIMORE -- Adrian Beltre was in the lineup on Tuesday night at designated hitter for the second straight game. Beltre had been out of the lineup for the previous five games with a strained left hamstring.Manager Ron Washington originally planned on putting Beltre back at third base on Tuesday but decided against it after it rained for much of the afternoon in the Baltimore area. "I don't want him sliding around out there," Washington said. Beltre was 1-for-4 with a double and a walk in the Rangers' 14-3 victory on Monday night. After the second-inning walk, Beltre went from first to third on a double by Nelson Cruz. He went half-speed, but that was fine with Washington because there were no outs in the inning and there was no chance of scoring anyway. Beltre ended up scoring on a single by Brandon Snyder. "We certainly have to be ready until Beltre decides to stretch it out, not when we want him to stretch it out," Washington said. "The biggest thing is he didn't feel any discomfort. I'm just so giddy to have him in the lineup ... he'll get better at his own pace. We're not going to rush him. As long as he's in the lineup, I'm happy."
Healthy Cruz doesn't feel need for day off
BALTIMORE -- Nelson Cruz is the only Rangers player who has started every game in the field this season. Cruz has been on the disabled list five times in the last two years but so far said he is feeling good physically and does not need a day off."Not right now, I'm feeling good," Cruz said. "When it comes, I'll take it, if not, I'll keep playing." Cruz has been struggling at the plate but was 3-for-4 in Monday night's 14-3 win over the Orioles after going 2-for-22 in his previous five games. Two of the hits were infield singles as Cruz had to run hard to beat out slow grounders to the left side. "That's a good sign ... my legs are feeling good," Cruz said. "Those are the type of things that can bring you around," manager Ron Washington said.
Michael Young hit his 65th career sacrifice fly on Monday night. That is one short of the club record of 66 held by Ruben Sierra. It is the 10th most by a Major League hitter since the beginning of the 2001 season. Mitch Moreland was back at first base on Tuesday night. He twisted his ankle on Friday night in Cleveland, and his last two starts were at designated hitter. Class A Hickory outfielder Chris Grayson, who hit .400 (32-for-80) with 16 walks, 10 doubles, three triples, two home runs and 11 RBIs over 21 games, was named the Rangers' Player of the Month in the Minor Leagues for April. Double-A Frisco's Justin Grimm, who was 4-1 with a 1.59 ERA for the month of April, was the organization's Pitcher of the Month. Class A catcher Kelly Deglan was the top defender and Randol Rojas was the top reliever. He combined to go 1-0 with a 0.48 ERA over six relief appearances between low Class A Hickory and high Class A Myrtle Beach.
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.