8/28/2014 7:46 P.M. ET
Beltre happy just to hang with the big boppers
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
HOUSTON -- Adrian Beltre began Thursday batting .439 in his last 11 games. That put him third in the American League batting race, with a .326 average. Jose Altuve led with a .332 average, and Victor Martinez was second, at .327.
"I have no chance," Beltre said. "Altuve? Great hitter. Victor Martinez? They're better hitters than me. I just hope I end up third. I'm hoping I can hang up with them."
That may be, but Beltre and Martinez are good friends. They played together on the Red Sox in 2010, and Martinez was a leading tormentor among those trying to give Beltre the dreaded head rub. It would seem that Beltre would hate losing to Martinez.
"He's a way better hitter than I am, from both sides of the plate," Beltre said. "He's a great switch-hitter. He has the luxury that if he has to face a nasty right-hander, he can turn to the other side."
Martinez also has the luxury of batting in the middle of a potent Tigers lineup, hitting cleanup behind Miguel Cabrera. Beltre batted fourth for the Rangers on Thursday, with Mike Carp batting third and Jim Adduci batting fifth. Carp went into the game hitting .179, while Adduci was hitting .177.
"If everybody was healthy, and different guys in front of me or behind me hitting, it's the same stuff," Beltre said. "I'd still have to do my job every day. It doesn't matter what the situation -- when I'm at home plate, I want to beat the pitcher.
"Because we don't have the team we're supposed to have and everything is not going the way we want this year, I'm not going to home plate trying to get an out. It's not going to happen. I have a job. I don't think it's an excuse not to compete well because the team is not doing well."
Choo's surgery set for Friday, when Rios returns
HOUSTON -- Outfielder Shin-Soo Choo is scheduled to undergo surgery on Friday to have a bone spur removed from his left elbow. On the same day, Alex Rios is expected to be back in the lineup after dealing with a badly bruised right thumb.
Rios was out of the lineup for the second straight game on Thursday despite telling manager Ron Washington he was ready to go. Washington decided to give Rios one more day, as Rios' willingness to play is not an indication that the thumb is any better.
"It's about the same," Rios said. "I don't want to miss any more time. It's not going to get any better anyway."
Rios has been dealing with both the thumb and a sprained right ankle since right after the All-Star break. He said the thumb is the bigger issue.
"What Alex is doing is difficult," third baseman Adrian Beltre said. "He is trying to battle through it, and we appreciate it. The guy likes to be out there and prove to his teammates that he wants to be out there."
Choo has been dealing with a sore left elbow since Spring Training and, since mid-April, a sprained left ankle. The Rangers finally decided to shut him down so that he can have a normal offseason and be at full strength going into Spring Training. The Rangers expect that he will need two months of recovery before being able to begin his normal offseason program in mid-November.
Prospect Gallo earns rare double honor
HOUSTON -- Third baseman Joey Gallo, ranked by MLB.com as the top prospect in the Rangers' system and No. 8 overall, has earned a rare double honor, selected to both the Class A Carolina League and Double-A Texas League postseason All-Star teams.
Gallo, who split time this season between Class A Myrtle Beach and Double-A Frisco, was also the Carolina League Most Valuable Player.
Gallo started the season in Myrtle Beach and hit .323 with 21 home runs, 50 RBIs and a .735 slugging percentage in just 58 games. He went into Thursday's game for Frisco hitting .235 with 20 home runs, 51 RBIs and a .523 slugging percentage. His 41 homers tie him with Tom Robson (1974) for the most by a Rangers Minor Leaguer.
The Rangers aren't planning to call up Gallo in September, since he does not have to be protected on the 40-man roster this winter, but he is expected to be invited to big league Spring Training camp.
Gallo was joined on the Texas League All-Star team by first baseman Trever Adams and utility infielder Odubel Herrera.
In addition, Jake Wood was named Manager of the Year, and pitching coach Jeff Andrews won the Mike Coolbaugh Texas League Coach of the Year Award. The Carolina League team also includes catcher Jorge Alfaro and outfielders Nick Williams and Chris Garia.
• The Rangers aren't fretting about the possibility of not retaining the Silver Boot -- which goes to the season series winner between the Astros and the Rangers -- for the eighth straight year. The Astros were up, 8-4, going into Thursday's game, but as shortstop Elvis Andrus said, "We won quite a few times. If they win it, they deserve it. It's not something in the back of my mind, especially this year."
• The Rangers' 12-4 win over the Mariners on Wednesday took two hours and 22 minutes. It was the fastest Major League game with at least 16 runs scored since 2006.
• Pitcher Yu Darvish, who is on the disabled list with mild inflammation in his right elbow, has still not resumed throwing, and he is not with the Rangers in Houston.
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.