5/21/2013 12:53 A.M. ET
Soto, Chirinos fill void competently behind the plate
By T.R. Sullivan and Christian Corona / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have won nine of their last 14 games. That's significant because those 14 games took place while catcher A.J. Pierzynski was on the disabled list with a strained oblique muscle in his right rib cage.
The Rangers were able to survive and thrive because of the work of Geovany Soto and Robinson Chirinos. Soto was 9-for-38 with two home runs and five RBIs, while Chirinos was 3-for-12. The Rangers won all three games that Chirinos started. In the past 12 games, there have been no errors or passed balls charged to a Rangers catcher and there was just three stolen bases against them.
"Soto started picking it up after he started playing regularly," manager Ron Washington said. "Chirinos, we didn't know what we had, but he showed he could handle anybody, he gives a good at-bat, the ball didn't get past him and he received the ball very well. It's nice to know he's down there."
The Rangers remain the only American League team without a passed ball charged to their catchers. The Rangers had also allowed just 17 stolen bases, the fourth fewest in the league and their catchers had committed just two errors, tied for the fourth fewest in the league.
Profar to split time at second with Garcia
ARLINGTON -- Jurickson Profar, MLB.com's top-rated prospect, was in the Rangers lineup on Monday, one day after being recalled from Triple-A Round Rock. With Ian Kinsler on the disabled list with a strained intercostal muscle in his right rib cage, manager Ron Washington said Profar and Leury Garcia will share time at second base.
"I'm going to try and get them equal playing time," Washington said. "This is Garcia's time to get at-bats as a utility guy, while Profar is coming up as a top prospect. He's going to get at-bats. But I'm also going to try and get at-bats for Leury. He needs to see pitching because once Kinsler gets back, Leury is going to be the one still here."
Profar brings a hot bat from Round Rock. He was hitting .424 in his final eight games and .333 in May after hitting .231 in April. He had an .859 OPS in May and a .765 OPS in April.
"For people who weren't there, they would say it was a slow start," Profar said. "But I was hitting the ball hard. I just go up there and try to have a good at-bat and hit the ball hard."
Profar went 0-for-2 with two RBIs in Monday's 9-2 loss.
Pierzynski set to return to lineup on Tuesday
FRISCO -- A.J. Pierzynski played the second game of his rehab assignment for Double-A Frisco on Monday, going 1-for-3 as the RoughRiders' designated hitter.
Pierzynski went 0-for-3 and caught two basestealers for Frisco on Sunday, starting and catching the first five innings. He has been on the 15-day disabled list since May 6 with a strained right oblique and will be back in the Rangers lineup for Tuesday's game against A's.
It's really boring on the DL," Pierzynski said. "I don't have any pain. I thought today would be more of a test after playing yesterday. There's no pain. Hopefully, I'll be activated tomorrow and play tomorrow."
Pierzynski had an infield single to San Antonio shortstop Jeudy Valdez in his first at-bat Monday before grounding out in his next two. The Rangers have won seven of their nine games since placing Pierzynski on the DL.
"We're winning games. That's the biggest thing," Pierzynski said. "I'm ready to get back and play. When you're on the DL, you feel kind of alone and not really part of the team because you can't really do anything."
Robinson Chirinos was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock following Monday's game to make room for Pierzynski.
• Tickets still remain for the second annual Eric Nadel Birthday Benefit Concert at 7 p.m. CT on Wednesday at the Kessler in Dallas. Two-time Grammy nominee Ruthie Foster will be the headline performer for the concert, which will benefit CONTACT, the 24-hour crisis and counseling line.
The night will include a silent auction for memorabilia that includes baseballs signed by Mariano Rivera and Yu Darvish, dinners with media celebrities at local restaurants and in-show visits to the Rangers radio booth. Tickets are $20 and can be obtained at www.thekessler.org.
• Washington on Derek Holland, who allowed four runs in 4 2/3 innings against the Tigers on Sunday: "I saw him competing very hard, he just got hit. He was in an attack mode, they just hit him. He was mad, he was really upset. When I came out to get the ball, if he could have thrown it at me, he would have. It would have been a throwdown on the mound."
• Michael Kirkman was charged with a blown save in Sunday's game against the Tigers. It's the first blown save charged to the Rangers bullpen this season. They were the only Major League team without a blown save.
• David Murphy's home run on Sunday was the first by a Rangers No. 2 hitter this season.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. Christian Corona is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.