04/23/10 2:40 AM ET
Jackson makes triumphant homecoming
By Tom Singer / MLB.com
Jackson won't be the only rookie taking the stage in Friday's contest. First baseman Justin Smoak is expected to make his much-anticipated Major League debut for the Rangers.
Smoak made it to The Show by literally smoking the ball at Triple-A Oklahoma City. The switch-hitter was hitting .300 with 10 runs scored, six doubles, two home runs and five RBIs in 15 games.
"Justin has been having really quality at-bats at Triple-A, and we just felt we could use more production out of that spot in the lineup," general manager Jon Daniels said. "We want to see if he can continue to have those high quality at-bats in the big leagues."
In the opener of this series, right-hander Rich Harden -- a late replacement for Scott Feldman, who was scratched and pushed back a day by a stomach virus -- hopes to keep the Tigers' rookie in check. Perhaps taking advantage of an overly emotional Jackson will take a big bite out of the offense standing in the way of a successful start to Texas' seven-game homestand against Detroit and the White Sox. The Rangers will try to build on a victory at Boston in Thursday night's finale of a rough 3-6 road trip. Max Scherzer makes that a tough objective. While with Arizona last season, Scherzer enjoyed one of his crispest games against the Rangers, an 8-2 victory on June 23 in which he threw strikes with 82 of his 119 pitches. Tigers: Boesch to take injured Guillen's job
Left fielder Carlos Guillen strained his left hamstring rounding third base Thursday night and was placed on the 15-day disabled list. The slugger, who is batting .311 in 61 at-bats this season, was replaced on the 25-man roster by Brennan Boesch, who is expected to make his Major League debut on Friday. Boesch was leading the International League with 15 RBIs, and was batting .352 with three home runs. ... The Detroit bullpen has a scoreless streak of 15 2/3 innings entering the series against the Rangers. ... Magglio Ordonez scored two runs during Thursday night's game to reach 1,000 for his career.Rangers: Cruz finds success at DH
The only concession Nelson Cruz made Thursday to the troublesome right hamstring that had forced him out of the two prior games was to DH rather than play the outfield. He went 2-for-3, including the seventh-inning single that snapped a scoreless tie. ... C.J. Wilson was the first visiting left-hander to start a shutout in Fenway Park since Oakland's Brett Anderson went all the way on a two-hitter last July 6.Worth noting
The Rangers are kicking off their Elvis Weekend with Friday's Elvis look-a-like contest. One of the judges? Elvis Andrus, of course. ... The Rangers did not have an extended spring game on Thursday, so Ian Kinsler (sprained right ankle) took batting practice and fielded a few grounders. The plan is for him to be used at designated hitter and lead off every inning in a game on Friday. ... Tigers reliever Zach Miner threw a successful side session Tuesday in Florida and is scheduled to throw again off the mound Friday. Miner, who began the season on the 15-day disabled list with right elbow tendinitis, threw about 29 pitches over the course of an eight-minute session Tuesday at the team's Spring Training complex in Lakeland, Fla.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.