Coming off the best offensive output of the season, Texas Rangers manager Jeff Banister on Friday saw no need to mess with success. Elvis Andrus didn’t either, even if it meant not batting second again.
The shortstop batted seventh for the second straight game and Shin-Soo Choo hit second as the Rangers opened their 2015 home schedule. The only change in the lineup from the Thursday finale at Oakland was at catcher, though Robinson Chirinos batted in the No. 9 hole, as Carlos Corporan had done.
The Rangers’ revamped lineup left O.co Coliseum with a 10-1 victory and a split in the four-game series. Andrus wasn’t complaining.
“Especially the way the game went yesterday,” he said. “In the end, it’s all about winning.”
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Andrus went 2 for 16 against the A’s, including an 0-for-5 day in his first game in the No. 7 hole. He hit three balls hard, including a first-inning shot to third base that turned into an inning-ending double play.
He said batting seventh will give him an opportunity to be more aggressive, as there aren’t as many situations to hit-and-run or bunt.
“The approach changes for sure,” Andrus said. “I felt really good yesterday.”
Banister said that he based his lineup on the effect he thought it would have on Astros starter Collin McHugh as much as Thursday’s success.
“I liked where it was yesterday with what we were able to create offensively,” Banister said. “The pitchers have a lot to do with the structure of the lineup, also.”
Right-hander Tanner Scheppers, who is recovering from an ankle injury, will throw again with Double A Frisco on Saturday and Sunday after striking out the side in one inning Thursday night.
“It’s been a while since I’ve had an inning like that,” he said. “I’ll stick with the process and go out there and get my work in [Saturday].”
Scheppers could be activated Monday, but he’s likely to get a few days of rest before rejoining the Rangers after throwing three times in four days.
Perez feels good
Left-hander Martin Perez, who hopes to return to the team in early July from Tommy John surgery, will throw another bullpen session Saturday. He threw 35 pitches Tuesday at Frisco and will follow with 15 on Saturday. He expects to increase to 40 pitches during a session next week.
“It feels good,” he said. “I work hard every day and focus on what I need to do to get ready.”
Perez said his arm strength is at about 80-85 percent. He and Matt Harrison (back surgery) will return to Surprise, Ariz., next week to resume rehab programs.
10Hits for the Astros in Friday’s game. Houston had a combined eight hits in its first three games of the season against the Indians for a team batting average of .096.
“I was raised by a guy who loved baseball. My dad was a good baseball player. He raised me as a baseball fan. I lived out in Midland, Texas. There wasn’t much to do in Midland except play outdoors, and I played a lot of baseball. My favorite player was Willie Mays.” — Former President George W. Bush on why he loves baseball.
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