The Texas Rangers’ traveling MASH unit added another patient Saturday in Toronto. Outfielder Alex Rios twisted his right ankle and left the game after fouling off a pitch in the first inning. X-rays were negative and Rios is listed as day-to-day.
Daniel Robertson replaced him in right field and singled twice, including in the first inning, when he took over with an 0-1 count. The Rangers lost to the Blue Jays 4-1.
Rios’ odd injury joins a long list for Texas in 2014. The Rangers lead the majors with 21 uses of the disabled list, with a league-high 14 players currently on the DL. The club DL record for a season is 29, set in 2004.
Colby vs. Colby
Rangers starter Colby Lewis was annoyed when Blue Jays center fielder Colby Rasmus reached base on a bunt single with two outs and the bases empty in the fifth inning.
It was Toronto’s fifth infield single and third bunt. After Lewis ended the inning with a strikeout, he had some words for Rasmus as he trotted off the field.
“I don’t think that’s the way the game should be played and I let him know,” Lewis said. “I told him I didn’t appreciate it.”
Lewis, who has struggled to get off the mound quickly on ground balls since a hip resurfacing procedure, said he thought it was a selfish, averaging-bumping ploy by Rasmus.
When it was pointed out that Toronto only led 2-0, Lewis didn’t back down.
“It doesn’t matter,” he said. “You’ve got a situation where there’s two outs, you’re up by two runs and you’ve gotten a hit earlier off me. We’re playing the shift.”
Rasmus didn’t try to steal second, which Lewis said made it obvious that he wasn’t concerned about scoring.
“That tells me he’s solely looking out for himself and his batting average,” Lewis said. “And I didn’t appreciate it.”
Rasmus said he was just trying to get on base.
“We’ve got Dan Johnson coming up next who’s swinging the bat well,” Rasmus said. “I’m just trying to help my team and he didn’t like that, so, sorry about it.
“I’m not here to try and please the other side. I’m here to help my team and saw an opportunity where I could. I took advantage of it.”
Stringing quality starts
Rangers starter Nick Tepesch is trying to do something Texas pitchers have done only twice in the last two months: Make consecutive quality starts.
In his last outing July 11, Tepesch allowed three runs on six hits in six innings in the Rangers’ 3-0 loss to the Angels.
He’ll try to follow the quality start from Yu Darvish on Friday and Saturday’s solid outing from Colby Lewis, although Lewis’ two runs in five innings didn’t qualify as a quality start.
The last time the staff threw three consecutive quality starts was June 27-29, when the same three pitchers combined to allow just two runs in 21 1/3 innings.
“You can’t really go into thinking too wide of a spectrum like that,” Tepesch said. “My approach is to win each inning and see how deep I can pitch into a game. If you want to break it down more than that, it’s pitch to pitch.”
The Rangers’ injury problems have put pressure on both the pitching staff and the offense to help the other. The 5-1 win to start the second half Friday, Tepesch said, should give the team some momentum.
“There’s a lot of baseball left,” he said. “We have a good group of guys in here and I think we know what we need to do and what we’re capable of doing. I think things are going to be all right.”