ARLINGTON -- Fresh off a three-game sweep at Chicago in which his team scored seven runs, manager Ron Washington said he has no choice but to keep sending out the players bogging down the Texas Rangers' lineup.
He didn't use the term "bogging down" when he mentioned that Mike Napoli, Nelson Cruz and Michael Young aren't producing as they have in the past.
Washington said that those three players, along with others in the lineup, are "not at their best."
"That's all there is to it," he said. "I'm penciling them in, and tonight I'm in their corner. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn't, I'm penciling them in tomorrow, and I'm in their corner."
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Young, Cruz and Napoli were the fifth, sixth and seventh hitters in the Rangers' lineup Friday in the opener against the Twins and left-hander Francisco Liriano.
Shuffling the lineup, Washington said, won't magically flip a hitting switch.
But the Rangers continue to win more than they lose and entering Friday still led the majors in hitting (.281) despite the inconsistencies and occasional breakdowns in executing. That's the silver lining on offense right now.
"We continue to find ways," Washington said. "We look at that as a positive."
Left-hander Derek Holland is stuck in a tough spot. He quickly wants to make up for lost time but knows he can't rush the process tonight as he returns from the 15-day disabled list.
He won't be on a pitch count as he makes his first start since June 5 because of fatigue. Holland worked six innings Monday for Triple A Round Rock, throwing 73 pitches and allowing five runs on eight hits.
"I feel like I have to play a little catch-up with my innings," said Holland, who allowed all five runs in the sixth inning. "You just stay within yourself. I want to be a starter and a closer. I want to start the game, and I want to close it, too."
Holland (5-4) pitched into the sixth inning June 5 before running out of energy and being forced out of the game. He went on the DL two days later because of fatigue from a stomach virus that caused him to lose 15 pounds.
More injury news
Colby Lewis expects to rejoin the rotation at the start of the second half after missing two starts because of tendinitis in his right forearm.
The Rangers' Opening Day starter threw 25 pitches Thursday and will work his normal bullpen session today, throwing all of his pitches. Lewis isn't planning on a rehab assignment.
"That's what we had scheduled right after I went on the DL," he said.
In other injury news:
Right-handers Neftali Feliz (elbow) and Alexi Ogando (groin) also will throw bullpen sessions today. Feliz said he is throwing at 90 to 95 percent effort.
Righty Koji Uehara (lat muscle) threw 37 pitches Friday and will throw another bullpen session Sunday.
Mark Lowe (intercostal muscle), another righty, hopes to play catch next weekend at Seattle for the first time since hitting the DL last week.
First baseman Mitch Moreland (hamstring) has jogged on a treadmill and hit off a tee, but he likely won't return until the end of the month.
Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760