TORONTO -- Nelson Cruz, Elvis Andrus and Ian Kinsler were all members of the 2010 American League All-Star team. They were all out of the Rangers' lineup on Sunday, but all three are also expected to play on Tuesday in Detroit.The main reason why Cruz and Andrus aren't playing is because of the artificial turf at Rogers Center. Both are dealing with minor injuries and manager Ron Washington does not want them aggravating it in Toronto. "This turf is hard on you," Washington said. "I'm hurting from just moving around, hitting fungoes and throwing [batting practice]. You get used to it if you play on it. I played on artificial turf in Minnesota and it didn't bother us." Cruz has a tight left quad muscle, but he ran on it Saturday at full speed and said he was 100 percent. Andrus has a sore right knee that he twisted chasing a popup in Friday's game. "It got stuck in the grass, the fake grass here, and kind of twisted it," Andrus said. "I'm ready to play if they need me." Instead, the Rangers activated Andres Blanco off the 15-day disabled list and started him at shortstop on Sunday. He fills the spot on the roster that became open when Chris Davis was traded to the Orioles on Saturday. Omar Quintanilla started at second base so Kinsler could get a day off. Kinsler is in a 1-for-22 slump, but Washington said this was a planned day off. The Rangers have an off-day on Monday, and that gives Kinsler two days of rest. "So when we get to Detroit, everybody should be fresh," Washington said.
Uehara happy to be reunited with Tateyama
TORONTO -- Koji Uehara has had an excellent season so far, and he said there is a reason why."I worked out with Yoshi [Tateyama] in the offseason," Uehara said. Maybe that's why Uehara gave Tateyama a big hug when they saw each other in the Rangers' clubhouse on Sunday. Or maybe it's because they have known each other since playing together 20 years ago at Tokaidai Gyosei High School in Japan. "He was the super ace and I was a benchwarmer," Uehara said. That actually was the case even though Uehara had the more successful career. Uehara was an outfielder in high school and only pitching occasionally. He didn't become a full-time pitcher until he went to college, and that's when he developed the talent to be one of Japan's premier pitchers. Now he and Tateyama are reunited with the Rangers. Tateyama pitched for the Nippon Ham Fighters in Japan while Uehara pitched for the Yomiuri Giants. Uehara was a starter in Japan and two-time winner of the Eiji Sawamura Award, which is the Japanese equivalent of the Cy Young Award. The Rangers acquired Uehara on Saturday when they sent pitcher Tommy Hunter and first baseman Chris Davis to the Orioles in exchange for the 36-year-old right-hander who is 1-1 with a 1.72 ERA. "I'm happy he is here," Tateyama said. "It's a strange feeling. I was with Tommy Hunter when we heard about the trade. We had a good rivalry in high school. He's a good competitor."
Napoli carries impressive catcher's ERA
TORONTO -- Mike Napoli went into Sunday's game with a catcher's ERA of 2.37. That's the lowest in the American League for a catcher with at least 25 games caught, while Yorvit Torrealba was two runs higher at 4.38.But manager Ron Washington said that's not going to change the way he uses his catchers. Torrealba is still the No. 1 catcher and Napoli, who has started 30 games, will continue to alternate between there, first base and designated hitter. "I've got two pretty good ones," Washington said. "I've never not had faith in Torrealba." Washington said the difference between his two catchers comes down to Napoli having played his entire career in the American League and Torrealba playing almost his entire career in the National League. "Mike knows the hitters in this league and Torre is still learning them," Washington said. "Mike has a good feel for the hitters in this league. It makes it easier to read the hitters, what they've done before and what they're looking for." Napoli was at DH on Sunday, because that's where the Rangers may need him the most until Adrian Beltre comes off the disabled list. With Chris Davis traded to the Orioles and Beltre out with a strained left hamstring, Michael Young will likely be the Rangers starting third baseman for the time being.
Torrealba was scratched from Sunday's game with a stiff back and replaced by third-string catcher Taylor Teagarden. The injury is not considered serious, but the Rangers scratched him since Teagarden was available.
Derek Holland's shutout Saturday gave him 10 wins on the season. The Rangers are now the only team in the Major Leagues with four 10-game winners. That's also the first time they've had four starters win at least that many games since Ken Hill, Bobby Witt, Roger Pavlik, Darren Oliver, Kevin Gross and Bobby Witt in 1996. Third-base coach Dave Anderson celebrates his 51st birthday on Monday. The Rangers' road ERA is 3.04. Right now, that would be the lowest for one season in the American League since the designated hitter was introduced in 1973.
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.