BALTIMORE -- Rookie Mitch Moreland, who has homered in his last two games, got a second straight start Saturday against the Orioles. Rangers manager Ron Washington likes what he's seen of the 24-year old, who has started at first base in three of the past four games.
"He's a gamer," Washington said of Moreland. "He's not afraid. ... He's going to go up there and if he sees what he likes, he's going to give you a good swing on it."
Moreland is batting .292 and has hit safely in 10 of his first 15 Major League games since his contract was purchased from Triple-A Oklahoma City on July 29. At Triple-A, Moreland was batting .289 with 12 homers and 65 RBIs in 95 games.
Seeing his name in the lineup on a regular basis has helped create a comfort zone for Moreland.
"It's definitely a good feeling to be able to walk in and know you've got a good chance to have an opportunity to play. You come up, you have an open mind and you're ready when they put you out there. If it's every day, so be it."
If he had his druthers, Moreland would like to blend into the woodwork rather than stand out, especially on a veteran ballclub chasing a pennant.
"You have to know your role, too, as a young guy coming in. You just try to help your team, especially the kind of team we have right now -- leading the division and making a push. ... Do whatever they ask of you," he said.
That humility comes from Moreland's legacy -- a strong college program at Mississippi State and a willingness to work hard in the Minors, Washington said.
"We didn't give it to him, he earned it. Those type of guys, when they earn something, they know how to cherish it," Washington said.
Knee soreness forces Feldman from game
BALTIMORE -- Rangers right-hander Scott Feldman left Saturday's game against the Orioles after experiencing soreness in his right knee while warming up before the seventh inning.
Team spokesman John Blake said Feldman would be re-evaluated on Monday once the Rangers return to Arlington after a seven-game road trip. Dr. Keith Meister will perform an MRI exam to determine the severity of Feldman's injury.
Feldman had entered the game with two outs in the sixth inning in relief of Texas starter Cliff Lee. He allowed a run-scoring infield single to Julio Lugo and got Nick Markakis to line out to shortstop to end the inning. He hurt himself warming up before the seventh and was replaced by lefty Mike Kirkman, who struck out the side in his Major League debut.
Feldman didn't have trouble moving around in the clubhouse after the game, explaining that the knee only gives him trouble when he pushes off in his delivery. He said he's had some soreness for a couple of days but that the knee started to buckle on him when he was warming up before the seventh inning.
"It doesn't bother me to walk or anything, except when I push off," he said.
Manager Ron Washington said the Rangers could "possibly" make a roster move on Feldman before Sunday's finale of a four-game series at Camden Yards against the Orioles, but added that it was "possible" that a decision would be held off until after the team returns home.
MRI on horizon for Kinsler, who feels 'great'
BALTIMORE -- Injured second baseman Ian Kinsler reported no ill effects from a stationary workout Friday.
"I feel great," said Kinsler, who has been on the 15-day disabled list since July 29 with a left groin strain. "No problems, feeling good."
Washington had Kinsler working out before Friday's game, fielding ground balls from a crouching position. The drills were designed to gauge how strong Kinsler's lower extremities were after an extended layoff.
Kinsler won't undergo any similar workouts for the remainder of the weekend in Baltimore, said Washington. The most Kinsler will do is field some ground balls and shovel tosses to second base in advance of an MRI exam scheduled for Monday in Texas.
"He says he has no soreness, but the big test comes when we get back to Texas," Washington said.
Andrus riding hot streak after down July
BALTIMORE -- Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus' hitting streak is at 10 games, and a 24-for-74 surge over his past 16 contests has bumped his average from .268 to .277.
So much for a little midsummer drought, the product of a 22-for-102 July during which his average dipped from .292 to .275.
"You go through ups and downs over the course of a season," said manager Ron Washington. "He's a grinder. It's nice to see him starting to get some hits because that builds confidence -- and we all need confidence."
Andrus has had three hitting streaks of 10 or more games this season.
Borbon's defense looks far from rusty
BALTIMORE -- With outfielder Nelson Cruz still on the disabled list nursing a right hamstring strain, the Rangers need contributions from Julio Borbon, who turned in a sparkling catch in Friday night's 2-0 victory over the Orioles.
With Texas nursing a 1-0 lead in the seventh inning, Baltimore's Adam Jones hit a fly to deep right-center field. Borbon made a fully extended leap to grab the potential extra-base hit for the inning's second out.
"It was big. We certainly needed [Borbon] to make it right there," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "You never know what might have happened in a 1-0 ballgame. He went a long ways and when you go that far you certainly want to finish the play off -- and he finished it off."
Borbon hasn't played regularly, as he did early in the season, but Washington said Borbon understands the reasons for his inconsistent appearances.
"He's handled it really well. He knows what our objective is. He's certainly not being taken out of the lineup as punishment," Washington said. "Right now, it's about production. I think if you go ask him if he's been producing, he'll give you the [honest] answer."
Borbon is hitting only .206 (22-for-107) in his last 33 games, and his average has dropped from .298 to .265. He has two RBIs in his last 24 games, both on Aug. 15.
"With Cruz down, we'll get a chance to get [Borbon] back out there and get him acclimated and maybe he can give us something," Washington said.
Pete Kerzel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.