Washington, club recharged for second half
Manager holds one-hour workout, meeting with players
BOSTON -- The Rangers' second half began with an extra one-hour workout early Thursday afternoon at Fenway Park and a short meeting with manager Ron Washington."We just got back out on the field and got recharged on fundamentals," Washington said. "Pitchers fielding practice, cutoffs and relays, outfielders throwing to the bags, infielders turning double plays. Guys were sharp. They were into it. We got it done and got off the field. Those are the things to do when the second half starts, go through the fundamentals." As far what he said to the players, Washington said it was the basic message. "Be more consistent," Washington said. "Nothing special. We did good the first half, if we can be more consistent, we can do the same good job in the second half as we did the first half. If we play our brand of baseball, I'll take our chances." The Rangers enter the second half with a 4 1/2-game lead over Anaheim, a 7 1/2-game lead over the Athletics and a 15-game lead over the Mariners in the American League West. "We're going to have to play," Washington said. "Anaheim is not going anywhere and Oakland has young pitching. They're going to be around. We've got to play. Oakland, Anaheim and us, we better play baseball." The Rangers also play 42 of their next 68 games on the road. Their 38 road games to this point are the fewest. The Rangers have won 11 of 15 on the road after starting out 8-15. They were 8-1 on a nine-game Interleague trip before losing two of three to the Angels in Anaheim on their last road trip. The Rangers were 39-42 on the road in each of the past two seasons. "I can look back at games on the road and look at how many we had won and blew late even though we had the right people on the mound," Washington said. "I've always said we've got to learn how to close games down and we have the right people to close games down. Hopefully things will fall into place."
Hamilton leaves with tight calf muscle
BOSTON -- Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton left Thursday's 7-2 win over the Red Sox in the seventh inning with tightness in a calf muscle behind his right knee.Hamilton said he originally aggravated the muscle Friday night at home in a game against the Orioles that started 21/2 hours late because of bad weather. Hamilton said he could have stayed in the game, but was removed as a precautionary measure. The Rangers were leading, 7-1, when David Murphy came in to pinch-run for him. "It's just tight," Hamilton said. "I've been getting treatment and stuff. I'll come in [Friday] and get treatment and see how it goes. Obviously I could have kept playing, but it seemed like it was a good time to come out." Hamilton left after lining a double, his third in four at-bats on the night. Hamilton is hitting .351 on the season.
Harden, Holland need more work
BOSTON -- Rich Harden will make his second medical rehabilitation assignment start on Friday for Triple-A Oklahoma City, but Derek Holland remains behind working out in Surprise, Ariz.Harden, who has been on the disabled list since June 12 with a strained muscle in his lower back, is scheduled to be on a 70-pitch limit when he throws against Iowa. He will be on a 90-pitch limit against Iowa again Wednesday. A fourth start could be needed after that. Harden needs to show he is healthy, but he also has to show he is a better option than those in the current rotation. Holland has been sidelined since the end of May with inflammation in his left shoulder. He has since been further delayed by a sprained right knee, an injury he also suffered in Spring Training. He is not ready to pitch in a Minor League game. Because this is the second time he has sprained his knee, the Rangers are being cautious in how hard they push him. "Of the two issues, the shoulder is feeling good," Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine said. "The knee is almost good, the only thing really standing in the way is working on his agility and plays off the mound. He is scheduled to throw a simulated game on Saturday and if that goes well, he could go on a rehabilitation assignment after that." Holland will likely need at least four rehabilitation starts before he is an option at the big league level. Again, right now there is no room in the rotation. "They have to beat out somebody in the rotation or take on another role," Levine said. "We want to make sure not only can they throw 90-100 pitches, but also make sure they're competitive and an upgrade over our current situation."
Young not bothered by All-Star snub
BOSTON -- When American League manager Joe Girardi inadvertently announced Monday morning that Michael Young was replacing Red Sox third baseman Adrian Beltre on the All-Star roster, there was one person who didn't believe it."I didn't believe it for a minute," Young said. "First of all, I don't believe everything I read. I started getting congratulatory text messages, but I didn't miss one phone call." Beltre played in the game despite dealing with a hamstring injury. Young said Phyllis Merhige, a vice president with Major League Baseball, would have called him with the news rather than him hearing it on television. "I've known Phyllis for a long time and she's on top of everything," Young said. "I knew if I was on the team, she would have called. She called and apologized and Joe called to apologize. I told them both there was no need to call, but I appreciated the phone call. "She said that Beltre wanted to test the hamstring and he deserves that right. He's having a great year. I don't want somebody to get hurt so I can make the team. Everything is fine. I got my rest, hung out with my boys and I'm ready to go for the second half."
Andrus ready to go after tough end to first half
BOSTON -- Elvis Andrus is ready for the second half after battling what he called mental fatigue in the final week of the season before the All-Star break."My body feels good, but I was little fatigued," Andrus said. "It always seems that way when I get to the end of something. Mentally I get tired because I know the first half was about to end. I know it shouldn't happen, I know I'm supposed to play good and stay mentally strong. "Now I'm good. The second half is about to start and I'm ready to go. Mentally I'm ready." Andrus was hitless in his last 14 at-bats before the All-Star break and was hitting .158 in his last 10 games. He has just two extra-base hits in his last 29 games.
Josh Hamilton's .346 batting average at the All-Star break was the sixth highest in club history. Ivan Rodriguez hit .366 before the break in 2000. ... Vladimir Guerrero entered Thursday second in the Majors with 75 RBIs. But he led with 20 go-ahead RBIs. ... The Rangers have signed their 12th-round Draft pick, outfielder John Richmond from the University of Louisville. ... Outfielder Endy Chavez has been placed on the disabled list at Triple-A Oklahoma with a strained right knee. It's the same knee that he had surgically repaired last year. ... Texas should see Armando Galarraga, Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander for three games in Detroit.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.