CHICAGO -- Josh Hamilton was not in Sunday's starting lineup against the White Sox, but manager Ron Washington said it had nothing to do with the back spasms that forced Hamilton to exit Tuesday's game against the Angels early.
Instead, Washington just saw Sunday afternoon's game as a chance to get his slugger some rest before starting a seven-game homestand against the Red Sox and Angels this week.
"I've been wanting to give him a day off, and I just chose today being a day game," Washington said. "He looked like he could use it, so I just chose today to give it to him."
Hamilton has struggled in day games this season, hitting just .173, compared to his .339 average in night games. All 16 of his home runs and 65 of his 69 RBIs have come in night games for Hamilton, whose career day-time average (.241) is nearly a hundred points below his night average (.332).
Washington has used this weekend to get some rest for a few of his players as the Rangers finish up a 10-game road trip that started with two series on the West Coast. In Saturday night's game, Washington kept catcher Yorvit Torrealba and shortstop Elvis Andrus out of the starting lineup but used both as pinch-hitters in the ninth inning. The skipper said the same strategy applies to Hamilton today.
"Once again, if the opportunity presents itself late, I won't hesitate to use him," Washington said.
Uehara looks to make adjustments
CHICAGO -- Rangers reliever Koji Uehara was the first to admit it following the White Sox game-winning rally against him on Saturday -- he needs to make some changes.
After allowing Alex Rios' go-ahead double in two-thirds of an inning Saturday, Uehara has now given up a run in four of his nine appearances with the Rangers, sporting a 4.32 ERA over those 8 1/3 innings. When he was traded to the Rangers on July 31, Uehara brought with him a 1.72 ERA over 47 innings of work, conceding a run in just eight of his 43 appearances with the Orioles.
"I'm not really [satisfied] with my performance since I arrived here," Uehara said through translator Jiwon Bang. "I've got to make adjustments."
Manager Ron Washington wasn't ready to give up on the recently acquired reliever quite yet though. One constant for Uehara, regardless of the uniform he's wearing, has been his ability to throw strikes. The right-hander has struck out 10 while issuing just one walk since arriving in Texas, raising his season totals to 72 strikeouts and only nine walks. His 8-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio was fourth best among relievers entering Sunday and, for his career, Uehara has struck out 175 and walked just 26.
"That's the way he throws. He throws up in the zone, he throws down in the zone and uses his splitter," Washington said. "He gets outs. There's no perfection in this game. Rios just got him that time."
Beltre making progress; Blanco still hurting
CHICAGO -- While Adrian Beltre spent the Rangers' road trip taking steps forward as he works to return from a strained left hamstring, fellow injured infielder Andres Blanco will return to Texas with more questions than answers.
Beltre, who hasn't played since straining the hamstring in a July 22 game, completed a 10-minute ground-ball session in Anaheim on Thursday and also took full batting practice sessions on Thursday and Friday without any issues. As for testing the hamstring on the basepaths, Beltre is just waiting for the go-ahead from Dr. Keith Meister, who will evaluate Beltre on Monday.
"When we get back, he's going to see Dr. Meister and make sure everything is good," manager Ron Washington said. "Once we get the OK from him and he says it's time he can run the bases, we'll put him out there. It's possible it could be [Monday], but if he says he needs to take a few more days, we'll take a few more days."
With Blanco, however, the team is still trying to determine what exactly is causing his back pain, which forced him to the 15-day disabled list on Aug. 9. After not experiencing much improvement in more than a week, the Rangers are now worried that what was originally believed to be a muscular problem may be something more serious.
"I have nothing on him. He doesn't [either]. He's scared," Washington said. "We'll get him checked again when we get back, and hopefully we can find something to pinpoint and get him right."
Rangers don't want to rely on home runs
CHICAGO -- It's OK for now, but manager Ron Washington doesn't want his team to get used to relying on home runs for its offensive production.
Over their previous three games entering Sunday, all but one of the Rangers' 10 runs have come on the team's six home runs. The Rangers have gone just 1-2 in those games, dropping one-run contests to the Angels on Thursday and the White Sox on Saturday.
"Sometimes that's what it takes to win. The one win we got here [in Chicago], we got because we were able to punch the ball out of the ballpark," Washington said of Friday's victory in which his club slugged three home runs. "We're capable of getting it done in many ways, but I certainly don't want us to rely on just the long ball. Good pitching is not going to let that happen often."
Ian Kinsler, who accounted for both of Texas' runs with a pair of solo blasts in Saturday's loss, said that while the Rangers' lineup is full of guys with home run power, the team's recent dependence on homers has been a bit uncharacteristic for the ballclub.
"That hasn't been our game all season. Not even close, really," Kinsler said. "We're definitely capable of it and we've definitely done it at times, but we can really do anything. We're a pretty dynamic team and we can do lots of things."
Paul Casella is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.