MINNEAPOLIS -- Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland was out of the lineup on Saturday with an abscessed tooth. He may need oral surgery, but right now, the plan is to treat it with antibiotics."He didn't sleep well last night, so I had to change the lineup," said manager Ron Washington, who gave Brandon Snyder his first start at first base. Moreland was 0-for-4 on Friday night and is 1-for-11 in his last three games. Washington also started Adrian Beltre at designated hitter on Saturday, with Michael Young getting his first start at third base. Young started 40 games at third base last season after Beltre was signed as a free agent. Beltre went into Saturday's game needing one more run to give him 1,000 for his career. Washington said he could start Young at first base on Sunday if Moreland isn't ready. Washington would like to use Nelson Cruz at designated hitter on Sunday. If so, Craig Gentry could be in the lineup for the second time this season.
First base hardly Rangers' Snyder's first position
MINNEAPOLIS -- Brandon Snyder was at first base on Saturday afternoon against the Twins. That's because manager Ron Washington didn't need him at shortstop.That was Snyder's original position when the Orioles made him the 13th overall pick in the 2005 Draft out of Centreville Westfield (Va.) High School. Snyder had a scholarship to play shortstop for LSU, but he decided to sign with the O's. Most teams told Snyder they were going to draft him as a third baseman. The Orioles decided they would make him a catcher. "I could catch and throw so they figured they could teach me to catch," said Snyder, who was one of the top high school offensive players from his Draft class. Snyder played two years at catcher before he injured his left shoulder. When he recovered, the O's decided they had a greater need at first base, so they switched him again. That has been his primary position, although he has played third and is currently working in the outfield with Rangers coach Gary Pettis. Snyder is also doing some catching in the bullpen in case the Rangers need an emergency third catcher. "I enjoyed catching," Snyder said. "I took a lot of pride in it. I felt I was becoming a pretty good catcher."
Ogando's save gives Texas quirky distinction
MINNEAPOLIS -- Alexi Ogando picked up his first Major League save on Friday night in the Rangers 4-1 victory over the Twins. He is the third Rangers pitcher to earn a save this month. Joe Nathan has two and Mike Adams has one.Nathan saved Tuesday's victory over the Mariners, Adams earned a save on Thursday and Ogando on Friday. The last time the Rangers had three different pitchers earn saves over three victories was in 2009, with Darren O'Day, Frank Francisco and C.J. Wilson. As of Saturday, only three other teams have as many as two pitchers with a save: Arizona, Milwaukee and Kansas City. But this is the third straight years the Rangers have had three different pitchers earn saves in April. In 2010, Neftali Feliz, Darren Oliver and Francisco all had saves. Last year it was Feliz, Oliver and Arthur Rhodes. The Rangers have never had four pitchers earn saves in the month of April. The Rangers are not expecting a fourth on Saturday. Manager Ron Washington said Nathan is back as the closer after being given two days off.
Tough pitching road ahead for Texas
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Rangers will face some pretty good pitching in the next two weeks as they go against four elite teams in the American League. They will also miss some good pitching, if current rotations aren't changed by weather or injury.The Rangers will face the Red Sox top two starters during their two-game visit to Fenway Park next week. Jon Lester is scheduled to pitch on Tuesday and Josh Beckett goes on Wednesday. The Rangers then head for Detroit and are scheduled to face reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander on Saturday. But they will miss Doug Fister, who is on the disabled list, and Max Scherzer, who is scheduled to pitch on Wednesday. The Tigers, as of right now, will open the series with rookie Adam Wilk on Thursday, followed by Rick Porcello on Friday and Verlander on Saturday. Left-hander Drew Smyly is scheduled for Sunday. After the Tigers, the Rangers return home for a pair of three-game series against the Yankees and the Rays. With the way the Yankees' rotation is currently set up, the Rangers will miss CC Sabathia. Instead, they are scheduled to face Hiroki Kuroda, Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova. The Rays' rotation is currently set so that James Shields, Jeff Niemann and David Price will pitch against the Rangers on the next homestand. The Rangers' rotation for the homestand right now calls for Derek Holland, Matt Harrison and Yu Darvish to pitch against the Yankees. Neftali Feliz, Colby Lewis and Holland would pitch against the Rays.
The Rangers have activated pitcher Yoshinori Tateyama off the disabled list and assigned him to Triple-A Round Rock. Tateyama was on the disabled list with stiffness in his lower back and pitched a scoreless inning on a medical rehabilitation assignment Friday night. Saturday's game was part of FOX's national television schedule, but was being broadcast to only 16 percent of the country. The Rangers could get a bigger audience in Japan, where the game was being broadcast by NHK. The Yankees-Angels game is going to 75 percent of the country. The Rangers hitters entered Saturday's game with 15 walks, tied for the second fewest in the American League. They had also gone 16 consecutive innings without drawing a walk.
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.