9/6/2013 9:02 P.M. ET
Rangers seek RISP rewards
By William Boor / MLB.com
ANAHEIM -- As complex as the game of baseball is, there are some very simple truths.
If you aren't driving in runs it is hard to win, and the Rangers have had trouble driving in runs recently.
Over the past six games, the Rangers are 2-4 and hitting just .133 (6-for-45) with runners in scoring position.
"You're going to go through your dry spells, and you're going to go through your times where it seems like every time we get an opportunity, we get it done," Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland said.
The Rangers were 3-for-7 with runners in scoring position in Wednesday's 11-4 loss in Oakland and have hit .250 in such situations as a team this season.
While the results have not been there lately, the Rangers are not overly concerned and know the clutch hits will start to come.
"It's just the way the game goes," Moreland said. "You win some, you lose some and all those situations go into sub categories of those two. When you're driving in runs, you're going to win more games, and that's just the way it goes, but we've done pretty well. We're in a good spot right now, right where we want to be. We just have to finish strong."
Tepesch to start Sunday's finale in Anaheim
ANAHEIM -- Rangers manager Ron Washington was pleased with the way Nick Tepesch pitched in relief in his return from the disabled list and will reward the right-hander with a start on Sunday.
"Threw the ball well and just wanted to get him another chance," Washington said. "We liked what we saw."
Tepesch threw 3 1/3 scoreless innings on Monday -- his first appearance since a sore right elbow landed him on the DL July 6.
The 24-year old is 4-6 with a 4.67 ERA this season and although he will start Sunday's series finale against the Angels, the Rangers will skip the fifth-starter spot the next time it comes up.
"He's starting Sunday and then we'll just leave it at the for now," Washington said.
The Rangers moved up Yu Darvish's next start from Tuesday to Monday and bumped Martin Perez from Monday to Tuesday, allowing the club to go with Saturday's starter Derek Holland, Darvish and Perez, in order, Sept. 13-15 when the A's visit Rangers Ballpark.
The decision for Sunday's game came down to Tepesch or Travis Blackley.
While Blackley did not get the nod, Washington said it was nothing against the left-hander and that he still is valuable in the bullpen.
"Blackley still gives us options," Washington said.
Washington to pick his spots with struggling Ross
ANAHEIM -- In a little over three months, Rangers left-hander Robbie Ross has gone from one end of the spectrum to the other.
On June 1, Ross had a 0.37 ERA, the lowest among Major League relievers, but recent struggles culminating Wednesday with four runs allowed on four hits, the left-hander has an ERA of 3.21.
"I had confidence in him because of the way he had been throwing the ball, and I put him out there and it just didn't work," Rangers manager Ron Washington said.
Ross has allowed 19 earned runs in 34 games since June 1 and has had trouble retiring lefties, who are hitting .337 off him this season.
"Once he touches the rubber, he has to execute his pitches," Washington said. "That's all it is. His stuff is still good, his velocity is still there."
When asked how Ross' struggles will dictate the lefty's role in the bullpen, Washington didn't hold anything back.
"Won't use him," Washington said. "That's impactful enough."
Ross likely won't pitch in any high-leverage situations until he proves he can get outs.
"We are going to have to give him some chances out there against lefties, maybe in some situations where it doesn't matter the results," Washington said.
Andrus returns from three-game hiatus
ANAHEIM -- Elvis Andrus has returned to the Rangers' lineup.
"He's good to go," Rangers manager Ron Washington said.
After missing the Oakland series with tightness in his lower back, Andrus was slated to hit second and play shortstop during Friday's series opener against the Angels.
Andrus, hitting .263 with 49 RBIs in 133 games this season, had hoped to DH on Wednesday, but with the off-day Thursday, manager Ron Washington opted to give him some extra rest.
• Mitch Moreland turned 28 on Friday.
• The Rangers have altered the starting rotation so that either Derek Holland or Yu Darvish will start the last game of the regular season and the other could start the playoffs or game 163 -- if necessary.
• Darvish and A.J. Pierzynski had some differences of opinions on the mound Wednesday, but manager Ron Washington did not see the incident as anything specific.
"When you're competing, what you saw happens," Washington said.
William Boor is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.