ARLINGTON -- Second baseman Ian Kinsler was back in the leadoff spot after the Rangers activated outfielders Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz off the disabled list on Monday.Kinsler had spent 13 games in the No. 3 spot after beginning the season as the leadoff hitter. "When we had our whole team together, that's where he was, so I decided to drop him back in there," manager Ron Washington said. Kinsler was hitting .223 with a .329 on-base percentage and a .431 slugging percentage in the leadoff spot and .227 with a .333 on-base percentage and a .295 slugging percentage in the No. 3 spot. "It doesn't matter," Kinsler said. "The only thing that matters is we're healthy. That's the most important thing." Right up there in importance would be to get Kinsler on a roll offensively. Overall, he entered Monday hitting .224 with a .330 on-base percentage and a .397 slugging percentage. Coming into the season, he had a career batting average of .281 with a .356 on-base percentage and a .412 slugging percentage. "I feel fine," Kinsler said. "It's just one of those things you go through. Hopefully in September everybody will have forgotten about me and what happened at the beginning of the season. It's how you finish. I understand that and I'm going to keep grinding."' Kinsler, despite his struggles, still went into Monday's game leading the Rangers with 27 runs scored and 24 walks.
Hamilton ready to go hard every play
ARLINGTON -- Josh Hamilton was back in the Rangers lineup at designated hitter on Monday, and it will be a few days before he is ready to go back to the outfield.No matter where he plays, Hamilton said he is still ready to go hard on every play. "I'm going to play hard," Hamilton said. "It's such a fine line ... I'm trying to help the team win and all of that goes with winning. The season is getting late, I'd like to stay in there the rest of the year, but I'm going to play like I always do. If something happens ... " Hamilton has been on the disabled list three times in the past three seasons and missed most of September last season as well. Three injuries occurred while running into outfield walls chasing fly balls. This season, he suffered a fractured humerus bone below his right shoulder on April 12 against the Tigers. "I know how to play one way," Hamilton said. "If the Rangers didn't want that guy, they wouldn't have gone out and gotten that guy." Manager Ron Washington agreed. He just wants Hamilton and his other players to play smart. "I don't want them to approach it any differently," Washington said. "I just want them to play baseball. They just have to be smart. I can't control what they do or put it in their heads. Just play."
Tateyama ready to make Rangers history
ARLINGTON -- Pitcher Yoshinori Tateyama will make history when he makes his first appearance for the Rangers. He will be the oldest player to ever make his Major League debut while with the Rangers.Tateyama, 35, was called up from Triple-A Round Rock on Monday to replace right-handed reliever Cody Eppley. He was called up after going 1-0 with a 2.14 ERA in 14 appearances at Round Rock. "This is a big opportunity for me," Tateyama said. "I'm going to do my best to do whatever I can do." Most impressive was Tateyama's strikeout-to-walk ratio at Round Rock. In 21 innings, he struck out 26 and walked four. Opponents hit .214 off him, including .186 by right-handed hitters. "These hitters haven't seen me before," Tateyama said. "Everything is the first time for them, so I'm trying to be as aggressive as possible and the results will come." Tateyama will be the fourth Japanese pitcher to pitch for the Rangers, following Hideki Irabu, Akinori Otsuka and Kazuo Fukumori. He spent 12 seasons pitching for the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters in Japan and had a 3.43 ERA primarily as a reliever in his career there.
Fellow Cuban praises Martin's skills, signing
ARLINGTON -- White Sox infielder Alexei Ramirez, who is also from Cuba, said the Rangers made a smart move by signing outfielder Leonys Martin. Both players played in Cuba before defecting to the United States, although Ramirez is seven years older."I have not gotten an opportunity to speak to him, but he can tell you that he's a guy who is really fast, who really loves the game of baseball, so he's going to come up pretty fast," Ramirez said. Ramirez said Martin will be a good player in the American League. "Absolutely," Ramirez said. "You'll see. He's a kid with a lot of potential." Martin, who signed a five-year, $15.5 million contract with the Rangers, has played 11 games at Double-A Frisco and went into Monday's game hitting .327 with six runs scored, a home run, 11 RBIs and seven stolen bases. He had a .389 on-base percentage and a .551 slugging percentage.
The Rangers hit one home run during the previous seven-game roadtrip. That is the longest stretch Texas has gone with one home run or less since July 16-22, 2007. Rangers starters put together seven consecutive quality starts entering Monday's game against the White Sox, but the club has not had eight consecutive quality starts since 1996. Mitch Moreland's RBI double on Sunday snapped an 0-for-18 stretch for Moreland with runners in scoring position, as well as a team-wide 0-for-18 slump in the same situation. Only the Dodgers and Phillies, with 13 apiece, have had more games in which they have scored two or fewer runs than the Rangers, who have had 12 such games entering Monday's slate of games. With a loss on Sunday, Roy Oswalt has lost his last six starts against Texas. According to Elias Sports Bureau, Oswalt has never lost more than four consecutive starts against any other team.
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.