ARLINGTON -- In the six games leading up to Saturday's matchup with the Rays, Rangers right fielder Nelson Cruz hit only .158 with six strikeouts and no home runs in 19 at-bats. Nearly all of Cruz's outs in the past week have been strikeouts or groundouts.Manager Ron Washington attributed Cruz's struggles to a tendency to try to pull the ball too much. "When he's in the middle of the field, he's totally dangerous," Washington said. "You can talk to him, but it's something that when he steps in that box, he has to make a conscious effort to do. It's on him." Cruz's late-April dry spell mirrors the one he had last season; he hit .188 without a homer in the final 13 games of April 2011 after homering in each of the first four games.
'Yu's on?' ad recalls Abbott & Costello
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers debuted their newest TV spot on Saturday, featuring pitcher Yu Darvish and catcher Mike Napoli in a parody of the famous Abbott & Costello routine, "Who's on First?" The ad plays off Yu's name and the confusion that ensues when Napoli answers a young fan's question about the new Rangers' pitcher's identity.Darvish gets the last word, saying the 1940s comedy duo are "big in Japan." "It was fun," Darvish said of the shoot. "I had a good time." Fans can view the ad, along with alternate endings, at texasrangers.com. It will air on FOX Sports Southwest beginning Tuesday.
Harrison ponders pitch-tipping problem
ARLINGTON -- Rangers left-hander Matt Harrison chalked up his five-inning, 14-hit loss on Friday night mostly to leaving pitches up in the strike zone, but another factor may have contributed to the poor outing."One of the coaches said something about what I was doing with my glove," Harrison said. "I was closing my glove real tight on the offspeed and I had it open on the fastball. If that's what it was, it's an easy fix. But still, I really wasn't on the top of my game. A lot of pitches were up." Ron Washington acknowledged that "a few" pitchers in the league tipped, but offered a firm "no comment" when asked whether any of his pitchers did so. Harrison wasn't sure if he was tipping, but will be cautious regardless in his next start. "It'll be in the back of my head now. I won't do that anymore," he said.
For the fourth time in 21 games this season, the Rangers started Ian Kinsler at designated hitter instead of his usual position at second base Saturday night. Kinsler had started at DH only 10 times in his career, all in 2011, before this season. The four most-used pitchers in the Texas bullpen -- Alexi Ogando, Joe Nathan, Mike Adams and Robbie Ross -- have a combined 1.91 ERA with only three walks to 33 strikeouts in 37 2/3 innings.
The Rangers on Saturday announced that they had re-signed right-handed pitcher Justin Miller to a Minor League contract.
He had been placed on unconditional-release waivers on Monday after undergoing successful surgery on his right elbow the previous week.
Miller, 24, was the Rangers' 2011 Minor League Reliever of the Year.
The Rangers' sold-out crowd of 49,197 on Saturday at Rangers Ballpark was their largest in 12 games there this season. It was also the fifth consecutive sellout, a club record.
Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.