ST. PETERSBURG -- Alexi Ogando could find himself pitching in the seventh inning for the Rangers instead of Koji Uehara."It's a possibility," manager Ron Washington said. "We always intended on Ogando pitching in the sixth and seventh inning, and maybe the eighth. It depends on the workload of the other guys." Ogando, who was switched from the bullpen to the rotation this season, is being used as a reliever in the playoffs and pitched a scoreless sixth inning in the Rangers' 8-6 victory in Game 2 on Saturday. Uehara pitched the seventh, giving up a walk, a single and a three-run home run to Evan Longoria. He was then replaced by Darren Oliver. Ogando pitched with a 5-3 lead and was going to come back for the seventh. But the Rangers scored two in the sixth and Washington decided to bring in Uehara. "Ogando was throwing the ball well," Washington said. "But once we got two more runs, I decided to get Uehara in the game and let him get a feel for what's going on. He had never pitched in a playoff game before. But if it was two runs, I would have sent Ogando out there to keep the momentum going." Uehara is the first pitcher to allow a home run in his postseason debut without recording an out. All other Rangers relievers have allowed one run in eight innings. The Rangers went into the playoffs planning on Uehara being the seventh-inning reliever, Mike Adams in the eighth and Neftali Feliz as the closer. Oliver and Michael Gonzalez, both left-handers, would be used in necessary situations. That leaves Ogando in middle relief and Scott Feldman as the long reliever. But Ogando was quite successful as a setup reliever last season before going 13-8 with a 3.51 ERA as a starter this season. "We could have sent Ogando back out there and the same thing happen to him," Washington said. "What happened to Uehara was a part of baseball. I can't sit here and say you won't see Uehara, and I can't sit here and say you won't see Oliver." Rays manager Joe Maddon admitted the Rangers have a deep bullpen. "With the Texas Rangers, you don't want to get in a bullpen war with them," Maddon said. "They pretty much stacked up their bullpen."
Gentry experiences highs, lows of playoff firsts
ST. PETERSBURG -- Craig Gentry quickly followed up his first career postseason hit with another first, though it was likely never on his to-do list in the first place.
The Rangers outfielder led off the top of the third inning in Game 3 of Monday's American League Division Series matchup against Tampa Bay's David Price with an infield base hit, immediately giving his club a dose of life in a scoreless ballgame.
But Gentry, attempting for his 20th consecutive stolen base with Ian Kinsler at the plate, was picked off by Price. First baseman Casey Kotchman took the throw and fired to shortstop Reid Brignac, who tagged Gentry. It was the first time Gentry was caught stealing in the Majors.
Gentry was 18-for-18 in steal attempts during the 2011 season, and his 19 consecutive steals marked the longest career-opening streak since Jacoby Ellsbury of the Red Sox tallied 25 between 2007 and 2008.
Murphy to start Game 4 against righty
ST. PETERSBURG -- Rangers manager Ron Washington said David Murphy will start in left field in Game 4 with right-hander Jeremy Hellickson on the mound for the Rays. That leaves Endy Chavez on the bench, and he did not play in the first two games of the series."Murphy is swinging the bat and doing what he's doing," Washington said. "I've been thinking about how to get Endy back in there but haven't found a way. He can do a lot of things. I haven't forgotten about Endy but it is what it is." Chavez hit .301 in 83 games and 256 at-bats for the Rangers this season. But Murphy regained a regular spot against right-handers by hitting .351 with four home runs and 15 RBIs in 25 games during September. Chavez could be used as a pinch-runner or as a defensive replacement late in the game. But Washington left Nelson Cruz in right field in the late innings of an 8-6 victory in Game 2. Cruz has been recovering from a strained left hamstring. "He was adamant he was fine," Washington said. "I wanted to [bring in Chavez] but Cruz fought me with it. He said he was fine. There is nothing wrong with him. He's ready to play. He won't lie to me. He said if he couldn't do it, he'll let me know."
Catchers Torrealba, Treanor OK after colliding
ST. PETERSBURG -- Rangers backup catchers Yorvit Torrealba and Matt Treanor collided during pregame stretching on Monday. Both had to go up to the training room for treatment, but both were reported to be fine.
"I'm good," said Torrealba, who went to the ground after running into Treanor. "I don't even know what happened."
The Rangers stretch before batting practice and then do some light running. They had just completed the stretching and were starting to jog when they collided. Neither player was in the starting lineup.
Playoff foes Rangers, Rays yet to meet for trade
ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rangers have faced the Rays two years in a row in the playoffs, but they have never made a trade with them.The Rays started playing in 1998, but they remain the only team that the Rangers have never completed a trade with in their history. "There have been a couple of things we've talked about," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "We have a good relationship with their group, it just hasn't happened." In the 50-year history of the franchise, the Rangers, according to baseball-reference.com, have made 41 trades with the Indians, two more than they've made with the Yankees. That's been their most common trade partner. They have made just one trade -- for pitcher Dustin Nippert -- with the D-backs. Daniels said he hasn't made a trade with the Dodgers, Angels, Rays and Cardinals in his six years as general manager. He made his first with the Blue Jays this winter when he acquired catcher Mike Napoli for reliever Frank Francisco. Both the Dodgers and the Angels had some interest in Mark Teixeira before he was traded to the Braves on July 31, 2007. The Rangers haven't made a deal with the Dodgers since 1990 when they acquired pitcher Jim Poole for pitchers David Lynch and Steve Allen. That's the longest they've gone without making a trade with a team. There have been 29 players who have played with both the Rays and the Rangers, a list that includes Jose Canseco, Julio Franco, Hank Blalock, Gabe Kapler and John Rocker. It does not include Josh Hamilton, who was drafted by the Rays but never played for them at the Major League level.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.