CHICAGO -- With September just around the corner and crucial series against the Red Sox and Angels looming next week, manager Ron Washington is having trouble finding time to rest his everyday players.
On Saturday night, Washington kept catcher Yorvit Torrealba and shortstop Elvis Andrus out of the lineup, instead starting Taylor Teagarden and Omar Quintanilla in their respective places. Torrealba had started the team's last 13 games at either catcher or designated hitter, while the team's other catcher, Mike Napoli, played his 20th straight game Saturday.
Napoli was starting at first base for the second straight night to allow Mitch Moreland to serve as the team's DH, giving him an extra day of rest for his right hamstring. Washington said Moreland would be back at first base Sunday, but he also wanted to keep his left-handed bat in the lineup against White Sox southpaw John Danks on Saturday.
"They all need a day, but I can't give it to them all," Washington said. "Today, I just wanted to give Torrealba a break. When he hasn't been catching, he's been DH'ing, so he's played a lot of games in a row here. I just wanted to give him a break. At some point here, I'm going to get Napoli a break, too."
As for Andrus, Washington said his absence from the lineup had nothing to do with the shortstop committing his league-leading 25th error of the season in Friday night's 7-4 victory. Andrus didn't catch a throw from Torrealba in the fifth inning, as the catcher tried to throw out Gordon Beckham at second on a Juan Pierre bunt attempt. Beckham went to third on the play and eventually scored to tie the game at 4.
"He was trying to secure the baseball, he was trying to do the right thing," Washington said of Andrus, whose .956 fielding percentage is the worst among Major League shortstops. "In the game of baseball, there's no perfection. You can do the right thing and get the wrong results. He did the right thing.
"Elvis has been needing a day off for a while, I just couldn't give it to him. So I finally decided to give it to him today."
Teagarden and Quintanilla were hitting eighth and ninth in the lineup and sport batting averages of .258 and .077, respectively, entering Saturday.
Tateyama thriving for Rangers in second half
CHICAGO -- Yoshinori Tateyama knew he could pitch better in the second half of the season than he did prior to the All-Star break, so he spent some time breaking down film from his first-half outings.
And he seemed to realize the problem on his own -- his arm angle on his release was creeping slightly higher than it had been in the past. So with that in mind, Tateyama took it upon himself to make adjustments on the fly and, judging from the results, they seem to be working quite well for the rookie right-hander.
Including Friday night's 2 2/3 no-hit innings, Tateyama has allowed just one run in 13 second-half appearances over 18 innings, lowering his All-Star break ERA of 4.26 to its current 2.43.
"He knows what adjustments he has to make. The only adjustment I'm looking for is outs," manager Ron Washington said. "Whatever physical adjustment or mental adjustment he made, way to go Yoshi. He has earned all the opportunities that he gets. We haven't given Yoshi anything."
Tateyama has worked at least two innings in five of those last 13 appearances, providing Washington with a valuable long-relief guy and the other relievers with some much-appreciated rest. In his short time with Texas, recently acquired reliever Mike Adams has already taken notice of Tateyama's continuously increasing value to the team.
"He's had to eat some pretty good innings for us," Adams said. "And he's pitched in some real big innings and has saved the rest of the bullpen some. He's been lights out for us."
Adams bounces back from walk-off homer
CHICAGO -- Mike Adams didn't care that he had to get on a plane and fly to Chicago immediately after serving up Thursday night's walk-off home run in Anaheim.
In fact, Adams welcomed the idea of having the opportunity to avenge Thursday's blown save so quickly, and he did just that, tossing a perfect eighth inning against the White Sox in Friday's 7-4 victory.
"You never want to lose a ballgame, but a game like [Thursday] night was especially tough," Adams said. "So for us to be able to come back the next night and get that 'W' so soon after, it kind of helped us put it behind us and made it a lot easier to forget about that loss."
Prior to the eighth inning, Yoshinori Tateyama had already thrown 2 2/3 hitless innings out of the Rangers' bullpen, and Neftali Feliz followed Adams with a perfect inning of his own for his 25th save. Overall, the Rangers' bullpen has posted a 1.55 ERA in the team's last 21 games.
"They say that hitting is contagious, but pitching is kind of contagious also," Adams said. "Whenever you see the guy in front of you go out there and put up zeros and get the job done, it puts a little extra fire in you to go out there and do the same."
Rangers putting the ball in play
CHICAGO -- It's an old cliche in baseball, but Rangers manager Ron Washington doesn't know how else to explain it -- when you put the ball in play, good things happen.
That has been a key to the Rangers' success this season, as their 719 strikeouts entering play Saturday were nearly 100 less than the 810 they had at this point last season. And while the Rangers finished with the fourth-fewest strikeouts in 2010, they are whiffing at an even lesser rate this season, striking out less than any other team in the Majors.
"I really hadn't paid attention to that until it was brought to my attention," Washington said. "But obviously, when you're putting more balls in play, you give more opportunities to other people to come up to the plate. And you also put yourself in a position for more things to happen just because more balls are put in play. It impacts the game in many ways."
Mike Napoli extended his road hitting streak to 21 games with a leadoff single in the seventh inning. It's the second longest in franchise history behind Rafael Palmeiro's 30-game streak from June 1-Aug. 1, 1993.
Mitch Moreland improved to 13-for-31 (.419) on the road trip with his two-hit game Saturday.
All but one of the Rangers' 10 runs in their last three games have come via home runs.
The Rangers have outscored their opponents 52-27 through the first nine games of the road trip.
Paul Casella is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.