Rangers notes: Leonys Martin’s hitting streak ends at 15 games

Posted Wednesday, Jul. 03, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Though Leonys Martin continues to swing one of the majors’ hottest bats, his work with his legs continues to provide the Rangers life on the base paths.

As his 15-game hitting streak came to a close Wednesday, Martin stole yet another base, his 15th straight successful attempt and sixth in the last six games, which tied the record set by John Lowenstein in 1978.

“We knew he could run,” said manager Ron Washington, who added that Martin has been a good study of pitchers’ tendencies. “He’s running the bases with reckless abandon.

“Once the league starts recognizing he’s a base stealer, and holds the ball and steps off and constantly throws over, then we’ll see where he goes from there.”

Martin went 0 for 4 with a fielder’s choice, but his hitless night did nothing to dampen a 16-game stretch in which he is hitting .393 with two home runs, four doubles and 13 runs scored from the bottom of the order.

“He’s been lining the ball around and hitting balls in the gaps,” Washington said. “Right now, he’s not missing his pitches that he hits.”

The manager said he has no plans to try to move Martin up in the order. It’s working just fine as it is.

“There’s nowhere else I can move him. Right now he’s doing a good job there. I’m not going to mess with him.”

Ogando on the mound

Right-handed pitcher Alexi Ogando, who has been out with shoulder inflammation, will be assigned to Round Rock and make a rehabilitation start Saturday against Omaha, team officials said.

Ogando will throw 45 pitches in that game. He had no issues while throwing live batting practice on Wednesday.

Berkman back

Designated hitter Lance Berkman returned to the lineup Wednesday for the first time after missing four games with a sore knee.

Berkman told Ron Washington that he felt good after batting practice on Tuesday.

He had a single in the fourth.

Sticking to young guns

Young pitchers were a subject of conversation during Ron Washington’s briefing with reporters before Wednesday’s game.

Of Martin Perez, the scheduled starter for Thursday’s series finale against Seattle, the manager said: “He’s working fast, throwing strikes and working speeds.”

The Rangers lefty has been effective since his recall June 22, his second call-up this season.

In two starts, he is 2-0 with a 1.32 ERA.

“It’s being able to hit spots and mix well,” Washington said.

Rookie Nick Tepesch, meanwhile, has struggled recently, but he’ll make his next start on Friday as scheduled.

Tepesch is 0-2 with a 9.40 ERA in his past five outings.

“You can’t take him out of the fire,” Washington said. “You have to leave him in there. The only way they’ll figure it out is to go out there. When his turn comes, he’s going to get the ball.”

Briefly

• Joakim Soria pitched an inning in relief for Double A Frisco, retiring the side with six pitches, including four for strikes, in a rehabilitation assignment. He will pitch again Thursday and could be with the Rangers by this weekend if all goes well.

• Eric Nadel, the Rangers’ longtime radio play-by-play guy, missed Wednesday night’s game with laryngitis. Nadel, who labeled himself day-to-day, missed all but the top of the first in Tuesday’s game.

• Rangers closer Joe Nathan was selected MLB Delivery Man of the Month for June after registering all 11 of his save opportunities and recording a 0.63 ERA and holding opponents to a .133 batting average.

• Scattered singles and obstructed-view seats are all that remain for Thursday 7 p.m. series finale against Seattle. Standing-room only seats will go on sale Thursday morning. For Sunday’s 2 p.m. game against Houston, the team is offering $7 Upper Reserved tickets, a savings of $15 off the regular price.

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