Rangers notes: Rios hopeful to finally be in playoffs

Posted Sunday, Aug. 11, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Alex Rios played in his 1,409th career game on Saturday night, but has never played in the postseason.

Only Adam Dunn and Vernon Wells have played more games among active major leaguers with no postseason action.

Rios is hoping to break that trend now that he’s with the Texas Rangers.

“It’s something that you don’t want to be proud of,” Rios said. “You want to be one of the players that have been in the playoffs and won in the playoffs. Hopefully I can achieve that here.”

Rios, 32, made his Rangers debut in right field and batted sixth a day after being traded from the last-place White Sox to the first-place Rangers. Joining a contending team has Rios excited and rejuvenated about this season.

Rios admitted it was difficult going to the ballpark every day knowing that the team wasn’t in contention. But he tried to keep his energy and effort level up and was batting .277 with 12 home runs and had 26 stolen bases through 109 games.

“I go hard about my business,” Rios said. “I like to win. We all like to win. It’s going to take all your effort to win games. That’s what I do. I take a lot of pride in what I do. Hopefully I can bring some good to this team.”

Rios fills in the void left by Nelson Cruz, who accepted a 50-game suspension for his ties to the Biogenesis of America investigation. Rios said, however, that he doesn’t view himself as someone who has to replace Cruz, the team’s RBI and home run leader.

Outfield options

To clear a spot for Alex Rios on the active roster, the Rangers optioned Joey Butler back to Triple A Round Rock.

Manager Ron Washington said it wasn’t an easy decision after Butler went 2 for 3 with two doubles and a pivotal walk Friday, but that made the most sense for the team.

Engel Beltre, a left-handed batter, gives the team more versatility, and Craig Gentry can serve as the right-handed replacement when Washington wants to sit David Murphy.

Washington went on to say that he will keep Leonys Martin in center field on nights that Gentry starts, even though Gentry is better defensively. Washington said he isn’t comfortable playing Martin in left field.

Injury updates

Lance Berkman homered in his second at-bat Saturday with Triple A Round Rock.

Berkman, batting from the left side, started the third inning by driving a ball over the left-center field fence. He struck out in his first at-bat and had an RBI single in his third at-bat, as he began a medical rehabilitation assignment.

Berkman, 37, has spent more than a month on the disabled list with left hip inflammation.

Matt Harrison, meanwhile, will be examined by Rangers physician Keith Meister after leaving his start Friday with numbness in his left hand. Harrison said he felt strong, but had “a little bit of tingling” after throwing three pitches in the fourth inning and exited as a precaution.

Nick Tepesch, on the disabled list with right elbow inflammation, said he is progressing well and hopes to begin throwing bullpen sessions early next week.

Briefly

• Left-hander Neal Cotts earned his second career save Friday, but said it didn’t mean too much to him. “It just kind of fell like that,” Cotts said. “If we don’t score those runs [in the ninth], Joe closes it out.” Cotts’ first save came on April 30, 2006.

• Adrian Beltre had an error removed from his ledger. Joe Torre, MLB’s executive vice president of baseball operations, overturned the error charged to Beltre in the eighth inning of Monday’s game in Anaheim.

• Martin Perez will be making his first career start against the Astros on Sunday.

Drew Davison, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @drewdavison

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