MINNEAPOLIS -- First baseman Mitch Moreland was out of the lineup for a second straight game while dealing with a painful abscessed tooth. Moreland will fly back to Dallas on Sunday night and undergo oral surgery on Monday. He is expected to rejoin the Rangers on Tuesday in Boston."He still had another rough night," Washington said. "We've got to get that taken care of." Mike Napoli started at first base, with Yorvit Torrealba at catcher and Michael Young at designated hitter. Washington considered giving Nelson Cruz a day at designated hitter, but he decided against it with the Rangers off on Monday. Washington also decided against using Brandon Snyder at first base after he went 3-for-4 on Saturday. Washington wanted Torrealba behind the plate and he wants Napoli to get some at-bats. Napoli went into Sunday's game in a 2-for-20 slump. "We've got to get Napoli going," Washington said. "He needs to get at-bats. He's in between on his timing. He's between being on time and being late. It's timing, and the only way to correct that is to see at-bats."
Rangers could swap Yu, Harrison in rotation
MINNEAPOLIS -- Rangers manager Ron Washington said he is thinking about switching Matt Harrison and Yu Darvish in the rotation. No decision has been reached yet, but Washington said it is something he'll discuss with pitching coach Mike Maddux and bullpen coach Andy Hawkins."That's something we'll think about and decide on the off-day and let you know Tuesday," Washington said before Sunday's game with the Twins. The Rangers have an off-day on Monday, and that allows them to consider the switch. Right now, Harrison is scheduled to pitch on Thursday and Darvish on Friday. But they could move Darvish up to Thursday and have him pitch on the normal five days' rest. Harrison, who is 2-0 with a 0.64 ERA after two starts, would go back to Friday. The main reason to do this is to "break up" the left-handers. That means Derek Holland and Harrison wouldn't be pitching back-to-back but would have Darvish starting in between them. "We haven't decided anything yet," Washington said. "Right now, we're busy with the Minnesota Twins."
Ogando gets the day off against Twins
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Rangers went into Sunday's game against the Twins with the intention of giving the day off to right-handed reliever Alexi Ogando. He has pitched two straight days and three of the last four."I'm a little tired, but after a day off tomorrow, I'll be ready in Boston," Ogando said. Going into Sunday's game, Ogando and Mike Adams lead the American League with six appearances each. They are also tied for 10th among relievers with 88 pitches thrown. Joe Nathan has thrown 85.
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"We just got the season started," manager Ron Washington said. "We're only nine games in. Things will settle down. We've played a lot of [close] games. Once our offense gets consistent, things will settle down. If we have to back off them, we'll back off them. We trust the other guys."Scott Feldman and Mark Lowe had appeared just once each entering Sunday. Yoshinori Tateyama has not appeared at all. He started the season on the disabled list with stiffness in his lower back and, after being activated on Saturday, was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock. "We haven't forgotten about Tateyama," Washington said. "You always need pieces, but right now, everybody here is healthy and doing well."
Rangers celebrate Jackie by donning No. 42
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Rangers were all wearing No. 42 on Sunday in celebration of Jackie Robinson Day around Major League Baseball. This is the fourth straight year that wearing No. 42 has been a part of the Jackie Robinson Day celebration."I love it," infielder Michael Young said. "I think this is a great day for baseball. It's important to reflect on one of the greatest citizens in our country's history. We all know what he did for baseball, but just to be able to celebrate a great human is very important to us." "It's a symbol of where the game has come," said Ron Washington, who is currently one of only two African-American managers in the game. "I'm only in this position because of what Jackie Robinson did. Somebody had to start it, and he did." April 15, 1947, is the day that Robinson played in his first game for the Brooklyn Dodgers and broke baseball's color barrier. The Rangers are 2-1 wearing the No. 42 on their backs, including a 19-6 victory over the Orioles when Ian Kinsler hit for the cycle in 2009. He had six hits that day, including two home runs.
The Red Sox are looking for outfield help now that Jacoby Ellsbury is on the disabled list. But sources said the Red Sox aren't particularly interested in Julio Borbon, who was the Rangers' Opening Day center fielder in 2010-11 but is now at Triple-A Round Rock.
Josh Hamilton's home run on Saturday, measured at 425 feet, was only his second in a day game since the beginning of 2011. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune: "I think that's the longest home run I've seen here. The crack it made when he hit it ... sounded like he was hitting a golf ball." Adrian Beltre scored his 1,000th career run on Saturday but didn't seem too impressed. Said Beltre: "Not really, the runs I remember are the winning runs and the walk-off runs. Was this anything special? Not really." Robbie Ross pitched just two-thirds of an inning to get his first Major League win on Saturday. The last Rangers pitcher to get his first Major League victory in that short of an outing was Brian Shouse on June 24, 2004. The Rangers have a day off on Monday in Boston while the Red Sox will be playing the Rays at Fenway Park. Monday is also the annual running of the Boston Marathon.
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.