05/23/12 3:08 PM ET
Harrison helps keep Rangers' bullpen fresh
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
Grueling 20-day stretch reaches end for Texas
SEATTLE -- Wednesday's game with the Mariners ends the Rangers' stretch of playing 20 games in 20 days. Texas is off on Thursday before opening a six-game homestand on Friday beginning with the Blue Jays.The 20-day stretch included 13 road games and one doubleheader that was a part of the Rangers playing four games in 48 hours. "We're still standing," manager Ron Washington said. The Rangers won't go more than 10 days without an off-day until August. They play 13 games in a row from July 27 to Aug. 8, get a day off and then will have another 20-game stretch. Washington tried to get his team through this stretch by giving his regulars some time off and believes it has helped them. "No doubt about it," Washington said. "I feel like we're playing with energy again. It's a matter of getting back on track with our pitching. If we do that we'll be fine." The Rangers have three games with the Blue Jays and three with the Mariners before another off-day next Thursday. Then they have a 10-game road trip to California. They play three against the Angels, four against the Athletics and three against the Giants. That will be allow them the unusual arrangement of spending seven straight nights in San Francisco without having to travel to another city. That's where the Rangers stay when they are playing the Athletics in Oakland. "The only problem with that is you spend a lot of money," Washington said. "San Francisco is expensive."
Rangers searching for offense from catchers
SEATTLE -- Rangers catchers are still searching for the offensive level they reached in 2011. Last year, they hit a combined .299 with a .500 slugging percentage and an .854 OPS, all the highest for their position in the American League.They went into Wednesday's game with the Mariners hitting .239 with a .687 OPS, both the ninth best in the AL. They were 10th with a .359 slugging percentage. Mike Napoli, who was off on Wednesday, is hitting .205 with a .274 slugging percentage, no home runs and four RBIs in his last 22 games. He has struck out 28 times in his last 73 at-bats. Yorvit Torrealba, who made his 11th start behind the plate on Wednesday, went into the game hitting .161 (5-for-31) in his last 11 games with no home runs and one RBI. He had a .257 on-base percentage and a .226 slugging percentage. "Time, give them time," manager Ron Washington said. "Napoli had a good month of April and has struggled in the month of May. He has a track record. When you're not doing one thing, you're doing another. He may not be swinging the bat well, but he's doing a good job working our pitching staff. Same with Torrealba. "Sometimes when you're in a funk, it takes time. You got to keep battling. The only way you're going to get out of the funk is keep getting at-bats."
Top prospect Profar stays hot at Double-A
SEATTLE -- Double-A Frisco infielder Jurickson Profar, the Rangers' top prospect, had a 29-game hitting streak stopped on Sunday but bounced back with a three-hit game on Monday.
The RoughRiders were off on Tuesday and Profar went into Wednesday's game at Tulsa having reached base in 40 straight games.That's the longest such streak in either the Majors or the Minor Leagues this season. The three-hit game raised his batting average to .300 for the first time this season and his .518 slugging percentage is the best on the team. Profar started the season in Double-A with just two hits in 26 at-bats. Since then he is hitting .340.
Tuesday marked the first time the Rangers have won with four hits or fewer since May 25, 2011, against the White Sox. Joe Nathan, who has retired 13 straight hitters, recorded his 10th save on Tuesday night. It's the eighth time he has had at least 10 saves in a season. Five other active pitchers have at least that many: Mariano Rivera (15), Francisco Cordero (10), Jason Isringhausen (nine), Francisco Rodriguez (eight) and Jose Valverde (eight). Rangers relievers had a 2.09 ERA going into Wednesday's game, the lowest in the Majors.
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.