ST. PETERSBURG -- When the sun went down on Monday, Rangers manager Ron Washington was undecided as to who would play first base on Tuesday night.
He was leaning toward right-handed-hitting Jorge Cantu, but said he wanted to discuss it further with hitting coach Clint Hurdle and other coaches.
"My heart wants to put Cantu in there," Washington said. "I just have a feeling, but we'll talk about it."
Cantu started Game 1 against Rays left-hander David Price, going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.
Cantu batted .232 (41-for-177) with two home runs and 15 RBIs against left-handed starters during the regular season.
Meanwhile, Washington definitely will start Bengie Molina behind the plate. Molina worked well with left-hander Cliff Lee in Game 1 and contributed three hits, including a home run, in the Rangers' 5-1 victory.
Texas to turn to new play-by-play man in 2011
ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rangers have signed television analyst Tom Grieve to a three-year contract extension and severed ties with play-by-play announcer Josh Lewin.
Grieve, a former Rangers general manager, has been in the booth since 1995, and will continue his analyst duties on Fox Sports Northwest and TXA21 through the 2013 season.
Lewin had been with the club since 2002.
"After several discussions over the last few months, the Texas Rangers and Josh Lewin have agreed to end their relationship and move ahead in different directions," team president Nolan Ryan said in a team release. "As a result, Josh will not be returning as the Rangers television announcer in 2011. We wish Josh the very best for the future."
The club will immediately begin its search for a play-by-play announcer to work with Grieve.
"I would like to thank the Rangers for nine wonderful years," said Lewin. "I respect the team's leadership and vision and wish them nothing but the best."
Eric Nadel, who has been in the organization for 32 years, is expected to remain on radio.
Frenchy glad to get rid of day games
ST. PETERSBURG -- The noon CT starting time for Game 4 of the American League Division Series at The Ballpark in Arlington on Sunday was a little early as far as Rangers outfielder Jeff Francoeur is concerned.
"We're used to playing a day game every once in a while," he said on Monday, "but to keep playing day game after day game after day game ..."
The first two games, played at Tropicana Field, started at 12:37 p.m. and 1:37 p.m. CT, respectively, and the next two games, at The Ballpark in Arlington, started at 4:07 p.m. and 12:07 p.m.
"I thought 4 o'clock on Saturday was fine," Francoeur said, "but I thought we got hosed yesterday, to be honest with you, with a 12 o'clock start time in the playoffs. You shouldn't have that, I don't think. I think that's something that needs to change.
"It's still the playoffs and you're going to get up, but it's still 12 o'clock, and for baseball guys, I guarantee there will be at least five or six people on this team that won't be up before 12 o'clock tomorrow."
Now that the Yankees series against the Twins is over, the Rangers and Rays take center stage in the AL, and Game 5 on Tuesday night will start at 7:07 p.m. CT.
"I don't think it's so much disrespect," Francoeur said. "We get it. I played in New York this year for the Mets for five months, and we played Sunday night baseball four out of the first six weeks. I get the thing, they're going to give it to New York, they're going to give it to Philly and that stuff, but it will be nice to play a night game.
"Like I said, that 12 o'clock Game 4 was tough, but they [Rays] had to do the same. But it would be nice to have some games a little later maybe."
Lee can secure strikeout mark for Rangers
ST. PETERSBURG -- Rangers left-hander Cliff Lee struck out 10 batters in Game 1 of the American League Division Series, and if he fans half as many on Tuesday night, he would give the AL West champs a share of Division Series history.
The Rangers have struck out 44 batters through the first four games of the series, just five shy of the all-time Division Series record, held by the Padres since 1998. Only the Indians (48 in 2001), Braves (45 in '02) and Astros (45 in '04) have struck out more batters than the Rangers.
Scoring first a factor for Washington
ST. PETERSBURG -- The team that scores first in Game 5 on Tuesday night could be a key factor in the outcome, but Rangers manager Ron Washington thinks "how many" is the most important.
"It depends on how many runs are put on the board when you score first," he said. "If you put one run on the board, you figure you can catch up with that. If you put two runs on the board, you figure you can catch up with that. As long as it doesn't get past a grand slam, I think you're in good shape.
"But then again, you give a guy like [David] Price or [Matt] Garza or one of those guys a three-run lead, they know how to take it to the finish line. In reverse, you give that to C.J. [Wilson], you give that to Cliff Lee, you give that to Colby [Lewis], we'll take it to the finish line, also."