MINNEAPOLIS -- The Rangers went into Thursday's game against the Twins sitting five games behind the Athletics in the American League West. That wasn't of great concern to manager Ron Washington.
Washington is concerned only with beating the Twins and making sure the Rangers are headed in the right direction. He believes they are, despite all they have gone through.
"I feel like we're playing consistent baseball," Washington said. "If we can play consistent baseball, we'll get our share. Our pitching has been pretty good and keeping us in ballgames, and our defense has tightened down. We're starting to put our offense together and do whatever is takes on that day.
"We're in real good shape. Anytime you're in single digits [behind in the standings], you're in good shape. It might take all year to bust it down, but you can't worry about making up four games in one day.
"I want to be better. I'm pleased with the way we're playing, but I know we can play better. We can still be a better offense, and we can still be better situationally. Those two things right there, if we can get locked in and be consistent in those areas, we've got a chance to be way over .500."
Choo rests sore ankle with turn at DH
MINNEAPOLIS -- For a day game after a night game, Shin-Soo Choo won the right to be the Rangers' designated hitter on Thursday afternoon. Manager Ron Washington also considered Adrian Beltre but Choo made the better case with his sore left ankle.
"I would have done Beltre, but Choo wanted a day," Washington said. "With the quick turnaround, he felt it was best for him to DH rather than go to the outfield. That blew it for Beltre."
Washington went into the season wanting to give Beltre more time at designated hitter to keep his legs fresh. That hasn't happened. Beltre has been used at designated hitter only once this season, and that was on April 8 against the Red Sox. That was the day he strained his left quad muscle and had to go on the disabled list.
Since his return on April 25, Beltre has started 31 straight games at third base. Washington admitted it was a concern not being able to give Beltre a day at designated hitter.
"It is, and I will," Washington said. "I'll have to start working it in. The way things have happened and trying to get everything going in the right direction, it has been hard to do. But we're only in the second month. I'll start doing it now that we've righted the ship."
Beltre went into the season more concerned about his hamstring muscles. It remains a day-to-day concern keeping his legs healthy.
"I know this is the first time I've had a quad injury, so I would have to nurse it," Beltre said. "Since I got back, it has been good enough."
And his legs overall?
"It depends on the day," Beltre said.
Andrus thrown for a loop by ejection
MINNEAPOLIS -- Shortstop Elvis Andrus said he was surprised at being ejected by home-plate umpire Pat Hoberg on Wednesday night. Andrus was ejected after an at-bat with one out in the sixth inning. Andrus thought a 3-1 pitch was ball four, but Hoberg called it a strike. Andrus ended up grounding out to shortstop.
As he ran back to the third-base dugout, Andrus said something without looking at Hoberg. That's when the umpire ejected him. It's the second time this season Andrus has been ejected from a game.
"I told him something and he told me it was inappropriate and he threw me out," Andrus said. "I don't think I did something bad to be thrown out. It got me a little bit by surprise. They usually warn you and if you keep going, they throw you out.
"I didn't say anything about him. It was more about the pitch. I did it with respect. I put my head down and told him what I thought. I need to worry about getting on base and not talk too much. But I hate it when people get me out."
Andrus was out of the lineup on Thursday. It was his first day off this season. As of Thursday, Andrus was one of 15 players who had started every game for his team this season. He had started 77 straight games overall.
Rangers racking up zeros on hill
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Rangers' 1-0 victory on Wednesday night marked their 10th shutout of the season and first since May 12. They have played only 53 games, but they've already matched their shutout total for both 2012 and '13.
The Rangers set a team record with 19 shutouts in 2011. In that season, Texas had five shutouts through their first 53 games. The Rangers have never had more than eight shutouts through 53 games in a season.
Texas is only the sixth club since division play began to have 10 shutouts through 53 games and just the second American League team since the designated hitter was adopted in 1973. The '69 Cubs had 14 shutouts through 53 games, while the others were the '89 Angels (11), the '72 Orioles, the '74 Dodgers and the '81 Astros, with 10 each.
Wednesday also marked the third 1-0 win for the Rangers this season with the others coming on April 11 and 13 against Houston. It is just the ninth time in club history the Rangers have had at least three 1-0 wins and only the second time in the past 24 years. They had three 1-0 wins in 2012.
The Rangers still went into Thursday's game against the Twins with a 4.22 ERA, the fifth highest in the American League.
Texas trades for Minors infielder Donald
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Rangers added some depth to their Triple-A team on Thursday, acquiring infielder Jason Donald from the Royals for cash considerations.
Donald has played in 170 Major League games for the Indians from 2010-12 with a career .257 batting average. But he has been at Triple-A Omaha all season and will be assigned to Round Rock. He is currently on paternity leave.
• Former Rangers No. 1 Draft pick Matt Purke, now in the Nationals organization, is scheduled to undergo Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery. The Rangers drafted Purke in 2009, but they were unable to sign him.
• The Rangers continue to be optimistic that Yu Darvish is over his neck stiffness, and he is still scheduled to pitch on Sunday against the Nationals. He worked out with the rest of the pitching staff and played catch with Colby Lewis before Thursday's game.
• Luis Sardinas was at shortstop for the first time this season on Thursday and was also in the second spot in the lineup. He had batted ninth in his previous six starts, but manager Ron Washington wanted him second with Elvis Andrus out because of his ability to bunt and hit-and-run.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.