Texas Rangers center fielder Leonys Martin returned to the lineup Saturday after missing seven of the past 11 games with a wrist injury.
His left wrist, which he first sprained May 4 and aggravated when he was jammed on a pitch Monday, is not quite 100 percent healed and remains slightly swollen.
But Martin said it’s close enough.
“I feel good to swing,” said Martin, who last pinch-ran Tuesday. “I’ll try to do what I can to help my team. I’m glad to be back sooner than I would expect.”
Martin said his wrist probably won’t be completely healed for another couple of weeks.
Nick Martinez is a studious pitcher. His ability to pitch smart, knowing hitters’ tendencies and how to best attack them has led to his 1.88 ERA through his first seven starts.
One of the ways he studies is by keeping a journal in his locker — recording what worked, what didn’t and other bits of information about each outing.
“Different reminders to stick with my game plan, do what I can do, identifying who I am as a pitcher,” Martinez said. “Sometimes you have to write that down just to remind yourself.”
After allowing just three runs in his first 32 innings, offenses are starting to counter. He’s given up six earned runs in his last 11 innings over two starts.
“It’s a big chess match out there on the mound,” he said. “It is a game of adjustments. They’re making adjustments on me, and I’m not going to start making adjustments until hitters make the adjustment first.
“Keep pitching my game and once I see a change, then I’ll change.”
And then he’ll write it down.
Rookie outfielder Delino DeShields has been getting a chance to shine this month, and so far he’s been glittering.
He earned a promotion to the second spot in the batting order Saturday and promptly reached first on a tapper back to Indians starter Danny Salazar, who probably tried to hurry his fielding attempt, knowing DeShields’ speed.
Salazar failed to cleanly field the ball, and DeShields later scored on Adrian Beltre’s sacrifice fly to center.
In 11 of his 13 starts, DeShields has been either No. 8 or 9 in the order. He hit leadoff on April 15 and in the No. 2 spot Saturday.
Since May 4, DeShields is among major league leaders with an on-base percentage over .500.
7 Bunt hits for the Rangers, which leads the major leagues. Since the start of the 2013 season, the Rangers lead the majors with 61 bunt hits. The Brewers are second with 57. Martin leads the American League with three bunt hits this season.
“But it’s a big arm, though. It could have been a foot apart and still hit the arm. I just told him to make his triceps bigger. That just means he’s hot, that’s all. They’ll have to pitch to him.” — Rangers manager Jeff Banister on Prince Fielder being hit by a pitch three times in two games on Thursday and Friday.