4/13/2014 4:12 P.M. ET
Choice home run makes history
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- Michael Choice made Rangers history when he hit his first Major League home run as a pinch-hitter on Saturday night against the Astros. Choice is the first Rangers player to ever hit his first Major League home run in a pinch-hit at-bat.
The last player in franchise history to do it was Jeff Burroughs with the Senators on Aug. 2, 1971 off of Tigers pitcher Ron Perranoski at Tiger Stadium. Choice hit his home run in the ninth inning during the Rangers 6-5 loss to the Astros on Saturday night.
"It's cool," Choice said. "You try to think, just keep hitting and the first one will come. To say that I've done it is cool."
Choice got the baseball back from a fan in the right-field bleachers in exchange of an autographed bat and ball. The bat he used to hit the home run will also be saved.
"It's back at the house," Choice said. "That bat is retired. I'll keep it with my own personal memorabilia."
Lewis' comeback to become a reality on Monday
ARLINGTON -- Colby Lewis will pitch in the Major Leagues for the first time since July 18, 2012 when he starts for the Rangers on Monday against the Mariners.
"I'm excited," Lewis said. "It doesn't seem like that long but it has been. I'm really excited and glad to be back."
Lewis was 32-29 with a 3.93 ERA in 80 starts with the Rangers in 2010-12 before undering going surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon in his right elbow on July 27, 2012. He tried to come back last year, but continued to have physical problems. Lewis finally had hip replacement surgery on Aug. 22, including the removal of bone spurs and a resurfacing of the hip. He is believed to be the first Major Leaguer to attempt to pitch after having this kind of surgery.
"I feel like anybody, this is all I know," Lewis said. "It's just like multiple guys in this clubhouse if they had the same kind of surgery, they'd want to make a comeback too. I just want to go out there and compete, have fun and give my team a chance to win."
The Rangers have been without a fifth starter since Joe Saunders went on the disabled list with a bruised left ankle after getting hit by a line drive on April 4 against the Rays. But Lewis' return means more to the Rangers than simply filling a spot in the rotation.
"It means everything," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He's the grandfather of our pitching staff. He's the leader. It's nice to have him back, competing and getting results. We know what he is capable of doing. His presence has always been important, but more so this year with our young pitching staff. They have someone they can sit down and talk to … he can give them some of his wisdom and experiences."
Lewis is scheduled to pitch Monday, followed by Robbie Ross, Yu Darvish and Tanner Scheppers during the four-game series with the Mariners.
Rangers set to wear Robinson's No. 42 on Tuesday
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers will be among the teams that will wear No. 42 in honor of former Dodgers infielder Jackie Robinson on Tuesday.
The Rangers are hosting the Mariners at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday and it will be Jackie Robinson Day all through the Major Leagues. Robinson's retired No. 42 jersey is one of three by the Rangers along with Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan's No. 34 and former manager Johnny Oates' No. 26.
The Rangers are also planning a pregame video presentation before Robbie Ross takes the mound. Erica King will sing the national anthem and it is also Shin-Soo Choo T-shirt giveaway night.
E. Beltre over painful Spring Training
ARLINGTON -- Rangers outfielder Engel Beltre is bracing for a long rehabilitation process after a pain-filled Spring Training. Beltre is on the 60-day disabled list with a fractured tibia in his right leg and is not expected back for another two months at least.
The injury occurred when Beltre was hit by a pitch during winter ball. Beltre spent six weeks in Spring Training trying to make the team while dealing with the pain.
"It was on and off," Beltre said. "I would get treatment and it would get better, and then it would get worse. The last week I was limping."
Beltre said he wasn't trying too hard because he was out of options and had to make the team or be exposed to outright waivers.
"I was doing the same thing I was doing every year, playing my game," Beltre said. "Every year my goal is just to do my job and do as much as I can."
Beltre is one of five Rangers on the 60-day disabled list along with pitchers Derek Holland and Jose Ortiz, catcher Geovany Soto and infielder Jurickson Profar. Beltre, Soto and Profar are all in Arlington to continue treatment, but have not progressed to any significant baseball activities.
• Saunders is back with the Rangers after being away for the birth of his third child. Saunders is expected to try running on the bruised ankle and see how much it has progressed since he tried running on it last week in Boston.
• Rangers reliever Joakim Soria took the loss on Saturday night, making him 1-1 on the season. The Rangers had 10 different pitchers get decisions through their first 10 games.
• Shortstop Elvis Andrus had an 11-game hitting streak going into Sunday's game. It's the second longest hitting streak ever by a Rangers player to open the season. Al Oliver hit in 13 straight to start the 1979 season.
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.