7/23/2014 6:32 P.M. ET
Rios: Trade talk doesn't affect play on field
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- Trade talks surrounding Alex Rios were quiet for a few days while he was dealing with a sprained right ankle. But they should pick up again with a week to go before the Trade Deadline now that he was back in the lineup on Wednesday night.
The Rangers have had a number of inquiries about Rios but are wary of trading him, because they have a $12.5 million option for next season. Club officials have expressed concern that if Rios is traded, the Rangers won't have anybody to play right field next season. But that doesn't stop the club from listening.
Rios went into Wednesday night hitting .310 in July, but also .231 over his last 31 games. Rios said the trade rumors are not affecting him.
"How is it going to affect you if you're focused on the field?" Rios said. "I know you think about it, you hear about it, because people are talking about it. You know what is going on. People use it for an excuse for going into a slump, blaming it on trade talk. But that's not true. On the field, you are focused on what you have to do. It's not something that affects me."
Rios' contract includes a partial no-trade clause. The Royals are among the teams on Rios' no-trade list and have been rumored to be interested in the 33-year-old. The other five teams on that list are Arizona, Colorado, Houston, Oakland and the Yankees.
Rios had been sidelined with the sprained ankle since Saturday but was ready to go on Wednesday. Rios said he could have pinch-hit during the 14-inning game on Tuesday, but manager Ron Washington was determined not to use him.
Despite relief appearance, Tepesch still on for Friday
NEW YORK -- The Rangers are still expecting Nick Tepesch to start on Friday against the Athletics even though he was used in relief in the 14th inning on Tuesday night. Tepesch only threw 12 pitches, but he also had a bullpen session before the game in preparation for Friday's start.
"It could change, but right now he is in line," manager Ron Washington said before Wednesday's game. "It could change if he tells us something different. We'll let him work out today and see how he feels."
Tepesch had to pitch because the Rangers had already used Scott Baker, who is their long reliever. Baker had to come in with the bases loaded and one out in the 12th inning to take over for Ryan Feierabend. Baker got Francisco Cervelli to hit a line drive at third baseman Adrian Beltre, and induced a groundout from Chase Headley.
When the Rangers went ahead in the top of the 13th on J.P. Arencibia's home run, Washington brought in closer Joakim Soria. He was the only reliever who hadn't pitched yet. But the Yankees ended up tying the game in the bottom of the 13th, so Washington had to call on Tepesch, who had been warned ahead of time that he might be needed.
Tuesday marked the fifth time in club history the Rangers have lost a lead in the 13th inning or later, and the first time since May 17, 1988. It was the sixth time in club history that the team scored one or fewer runs in 14 innings or more. The last time it happened was on April 17, 1983, in a 1-0 victory over the Red Sox in 14 innings.
The Rangers ended up using nine pitchers in Tuesday's game for the fourth time in club history. It's the first time it's happened in a month other than September, when the rosters are expanded to up to 40 players.
• Washington went into Wednesday's game planning not to use outfielder Jake Smolinski, who is dealing with a bruised left foot.
• Rangers relievers pitched eight innings on Tuesday night. Going into Wednesday's game, they had pitched 327 innings on the season, tied with the Indians for the most in the American League.
• Outfielder Daniel Robertson, who was not in the starting lineup on Wednesday night, had four straight two-hit games. He had just two two-hit games in his first 29 games after being acquired from the Padres.
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.