Texas Rangers

Ryan Rua’s approach as Rangers’ cleanup hitter no different

Rangers outfielder Ryan Rua signs for fans before a game at Globe Life Park in Arlington in early June.
Rangers outfielder Ryan Rua signs for fans before a game at Globe Life Park in Arlington in early June. Special to the Star-Telegram

Texas Rangers manager Jeff Banister is not afraid of changing his lineup, even at the top.

He’s used five players in the cleanup spot, although Adrian Beltre (44 games) and Prince Fielder (21) have been there the most.

Ryan Rua started his second game batting fourth on Friday. He hit cleanup June 14 in Oakland and went 2 for 3 with a homer and three RBIs. It doesn’t matter where he’s batting, Rua said; his approach is the same.

.396 Ryan Rua’s batting average against left-handed pitchers entering Friday’s game against the Red Sox’s David Price.

“Not try to do too much. Just try to put the barrel on the ball, nothing extra,” said Rua, who has hit fifth seven times, sixth 11 times and seventh six times. His most frequent spot is eighth, where he’s been used 14 times. Ian Desmond and Rougned Odor have also batted cleanup.

“Our lineup can be different any given day with the type of players we have,” Rua said. “We’ve switched it up a bunch this year and it’s turned out all right. That’s why he gets paid the big bucks, to make those decisions.”

Ryan Rua said he learned he was hitting cleanup Friday night when he saw the posted lineup.

Banister’s goal with the lineup is to stretch it out with an eye toward structuring it so that each inning could present a problem for opposing pitchers. Against the left-handed David Price on Friday night, he wanted to space out his left-handed hitters.

Entering the game, Rua was hitting .396 with three homers, four doubles and eight RBIs against lefties. In the first inning Friday, he lined a single to left and later scored.

Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus said injuries are always around the corner for baseball teams but a deep pool of pitchers will help fill void left by Colby Lewis and Derek Holland (Video by Stefan Stevenson/Star-Telegram).

First pitch

Former Rangers player David Murphy, who retired in April, threw out the first pitch before Friday’s game. Murphy, who attended Baylor, resides in Southlake.

“Just being here felt like home, it felt like a happy place,” said Murphy on a recent a visit to Globe Life Park after having lunch with the Pirates’ David Freese. “I think it’s always going to be like that.”

I want to take advantage of being a husband and father now.

David Murphy

During the off-season, Murphy expected to play in 2016.

But after going to spring training on a minor league contract with the Red Sox and not making the club’s major league roster for Opening Day “there were a lot of things that changed in my mind and my heart,” he said. “At the end of the day I feel like this was the right decision to make.”

David Murphy was honored Friday by the Rangers after retiring earlier this season. He reflects on his time in Arlington (video by Jeff Wilson).

Former Rangers player David Murphy said he'll miss his friends in the clubhouse most (Video by Stefan Stevenson/Star-Telegram).

Chirinos sore

Catcher Robinson Chirinos was scratched from Friday’s lineup with a sore wrist.

Banister said Chirinos could have played and was available off the bench but that he saw no need in pushing it. Chirinos was hit on the right wrist last weekend in St. Louis.

Choo’s homer

Shin-Soo Choo’s lead-off homer Friday night was the 17th of his career. It’s Choo’s third homer of the season, all against left-handed pitchers.

Uber lot

Getting to a Rangers game just got a little easier.

The Rangers announced a partnership with Uber, the internet transportation company for fans arriving and departing from Globe Life Park.

The Rangers have created a close-in Uber Lot at Globe Life Park in the front of Parking Lot C at the corner of Randol Mill Road and Ballpark Way across from the Centerfield Gate.

When fans contact Uber and confirm their location at Globe Life Park, the Uber app will automatically direct them to the Lot C location. The lot is marked with Uber signage, a Rangers release said. It will open five hours before game time and remain open two hours after each game.

Stefan Stevenson: 817-390-7760, @StevensonFWST