Rangers notes: No word on further discipline for Rios; Berkman pinch hits

Posted Saturday, Sep. 14, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Alex Rios made contact with third-base umpire Andy Fletcher while arguing an out call that abruptly halted the Texas Rangers’ eighth-inning rally on Friday night.

Rios hadn’t heard from the umpires on Saturday morning, and manager Ron Washington said he didn’t think Rios’ actions warranted further discipline.

“That all depends on how the umpire wants to write it up,” Washington said. “I think he understands the intensity of the situation and the competitive spirits and juices. I hope he takes all that into consideration. It wasn’t vicious.”

The Rangers were rallying from a 9-2 deficit in the eighth inning, and Rios had a two-out, two-run single to cut the deficit to 9-8. Rios then went to third on a single by Adrian Beltre, but was thrown out on the play.

Replays showed that Rios was safe, and Washington expressed displeasure with the position Fletcher was in to make the call. Washington felt Fletcher should have been a step or two closer to home plate to give him a fuller view of the play unfolding in front of him.

“It’s that simple,” Washington said. “I told him that when he watches that play, I hope he gets sick to his stomach.”

Rios wasn’t the only ejection on the night. Matt Garza was also tossed by first-base umpire Joe West.

Garza was yelling from the bench, and he was surprised he was tossed for the first time in his career.

“I don’t know what happened, to be honest,” Garza said. “I was yelling at [reliever Jason Frasor] and miscommunication or misunderstanding… it is what it is.”

Berkman on bench

Lance Berkman isn’t disappointed or frustrated about his lack of playing time. The six-time All-Star remains on the bench as the Rangers try to get back in the American League West race.

“I’m an employee of the team,” said Berkman, who feels fine physically. “I’ll do whatever they want me to do. I come and try to be ready and whatever they decide to do, that’s their prerogative.”

The 37-year-old Berkman hasn’t started since Sept. 3 and saw his first game action since then as a pinch hitter in Saturday’s game. He flew out in his only at-bat.

Berkman is limited to batting only from the left side at this point but said he intends to begin swinging right-handed in the next few days.

Berkman went on to flatly deny rumors that he fell asleep during a game last week.

Tuesday starter?

The Rangers are undecided as to who will start Tuesday’s game against the Rays. Nick Tepesch had been the likely candidate, but he threw more balls than strikes over one-plus inning in a relief appearance Friday.

Tepesch remains in the mix, along with Alexi Ogando, Travis Blackley and Ross Wolf.

“We still have some time to figure that one out,” Ron Washington said.

Blackley could be an intriguing option after he threw a scoreless inning Friday, showing increased velocity from his previous two outings.


• Martin Perez lasted only five-plus innings in his last start, which was his shortest since July 26 and also ended his personal-best six-game winning streak. Perez said he worked on his fastball location in his bullpen session this week and believes it’ll be better Sunday.

• The Rangers won’t face reigning AL Cy Young winner David Price in their upcoming four-game series against the Rays. Price, who is 5-3 with a 2.95 ERA in the second half, is scheduled to pitch Sunday against the Twins.

• Yu Darvish recorded his 250th strikeout of the season when he struck out Josh Reddick in the second inning Saturday. He is only the fourth pitcher in the modern era to reach the 250-strikeout mark in his first two seasons, joining Herb Score, Dwight Gooden and Tim Lincecum.

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

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