Rangers manager Jeff Banister is ready to try just about anything to help his team snap its struggles against the Chicago White Sox.
Banister altered his lineup Tuesday with the hopes of shaking things up, not only against White Sox left-hander Carlos Rodon, who is 3-0 against the Rangers, but also for Rangers’ players themselves. Texas has lost its past six games against Chicago, including the first four in 2016.
Rookie Nomar Mazara didn’t start for the first time since April 22. Mazara was 0 for 3 with two strikeouts against Rodon on April 23. He was 0 for 6 Monday night for the first time in his career. It’s only the second game he has gone without either a hit or walk.
“He’s been pretty resilient to this point and pretty even keeled about it all,” Banister said. “I’m sure it he felt that one a little bit. The competitive guy he is it had to.”
Banister has tried to give Mazara some days off since he was called up on April 10 when Shin-Soo Choo was injured. Another change was
“The travel, the level of play, the pitchers he’s facing, that’s a tough mental grind on anybody, let alone a fresh, 21-year-old in the big leagues for the first time,” Banister said. “You look at [Tuesday’s] game as an opportunity. We don’t generally give him left-handers off but this is a guy who has generally been tough on us.”
Prince Fielder batted fifth in the lineup for the first time season and Ian Desmond batted cleanup for the second time. Fielder entered Tuesday hitting .192 with two homers.
“We’re going to try to give [Rodon] a little different look,” Banister said. “Prince is a professional. He wants to do very well for us and his teammates. He knows and we know that he needs to have better production for us.”
Fielder had an RBI single in his first at-bat Monday to snap an 0 for 14 spell.
“What’s going to help him get in a groove is to string some hits together,” Banister said. “String some ABs together, get some positive results for himself.”
Baseball outdrew hockey again Monday night, despite the drama of the Dallas Stars’ Game 6 victory in St. Louis.
Monday night’s telecast between the Rangers and White Sox drew a 4.65 rating in the Fort Worth-Dallas market. The Stars and St. Louis Blues drew a 4.45 rating locally for Game 6 of their NHL playoff series.
The Stars’ number reflected a growing audience for their Stanley Cup run. The 4.45 rating was the franchise’s highest in nine years.
Hamels makes donation
Cole Hamels hasn’t been with the Texas Rangers for a full year yet, but he and his family have embraced the Metroplex and consider themselves part of the community.
On Tuesday, Hamels gave back for the first time through The Hamels Foundation, which awarded $10,500 in grants to two Dallas elementary schools and partnered with the Rangers Baseball Foundation on a $25,000 donation to the Urban Youth Academy in West Dallas.
Hamels, who is scheduled to start Wednesday in the series finale against the Chicago White Sox, said that baseball has given him a chance to give back.
Enhancing education is the focus of the foundation he started in 2008 with his wife, Heidi. The foundation has donated more the $3.2 million to schools in Philadelphia, Missouri, Malawi, Africa, and, now, Dallas-Fort Worth since 2009.
“Any time we’re put in the situation we are and the outlet we can provide, it allows us to be a little more human,” Hamels said. “I think a lot of people just see as an athlete, but we’re also human beings. We came up in similar ways.”
Griffin has MRI
Right-hander A.J. Griffin had an MRI on his sore right shoulder Tuesday and was to be evaluated by Dr. Keith Meister. The results of the scan were not released as of game time. Griffin was put on the disabled list
Choo goes 70 percent
Outfielder Shin-Soo Choo ran at about 70 percent speed during his first extended spring game Tuesday in Surprise, Ariz. Choo went 1 for 3 with a walk. He’s expected to play in three to four more games in Arizona before beginning a rehab assignment with Triple A Round Rock this weekend.
Columnist Gil Lebreton contributed to this report.