DETROIT -- Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton said Justin Verlander seemed to throw more sliders and changeups against them in Saturday night's 3-2 loss to the Tigers in Game 2 of a doubleheader. His perception was correct.Verlander said after the game that was design. "These guys are susceptible to fastballs," Verlander said. "But just the way their confidence is and the way that they're swinging it lately -- they're just going up there and being extremely, extremely aggressive, not only at the plate, but on the basepaths and everything that they're doing. It's probably the most aggressive I've ever seen a team. "I had three walks I'm not happy with, but that's probably because I threw so much offspeed. But you know, let their aggressiveness play into my hands. If they want to swing at the first pitch every time, go ahead. Here's a slider, here's a changeup, swing at it." Verlander, who allowed one run over six innings, said the Rangers are playing with extreme confidence and aggressiveness right now. "I'm not mad at them by any means, but having the chance to watch them for a couple, it's not that hard to see," Verlander said. "It's pretty blatant how aggressive they are as a team right now, and they're not always like that. But they're feeling good about themselves right now, and they want to get up there and they want to kill the ball. "We talked about how much they've been charging fastballs, yet they're still able to foul off a lot of offspeed. That just shows you how locked in their entire lineup is right now."
Beltre to have MRI, doubtful for Yanks series
DETROIT -- Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre will undergo an MRI on Monday in Texas and is doubtful for their three-game series with the Yankees. Beltre is sidelined with a strained left hamstring and is still hoping to avoid the disabled list.Beltre injured the leg running the bases in Saturday's 10-4 win over the Tigers in Game 1 of a doubleheader and said it still felt the same on Sunday. "But I don't think it will be a big deal," Beltre said. "It will be a couple of days. I'll get an MRI tomorrow and go from there." Beltre missed five weeks in the second half of last season with a strained left hamstring. "I knew last year when it happen, it wasn't good," Beltre said. "This is different." Michael Young, after playing second base in Game 1, started at third base in Game 2 of the Saturday doubleheader, but Alberto Gonzalez was there on Sunday afternoon. "Mike played two games on the field," manager Ron Washington said. "I wanted to give him a break."
Young passes Greer in average ... for now
DETROIT -- Michael Young took a nine-game hitting streak into Sunday's game against the Tigers. He was 20-for-38 (.526), with two home runs and 10 RBIs during the streak.That has raised his career batting average to .305. Actually it is .30456, which is now the highest batting average in Rangers history for a player with at least 3,000 plate appearances. He passes Rusty Greer, who retired at .30452. Ivan Rodriguez is right behind at .30361, but since he is retiring on Monday, he won't be able to catch Greer. Those are the only three Rangers players who had at least 3,000 plate appearances and a batting average over .300. All of this is according to STATS Inc., the statistical service favored by the Rangers' media relations department. But the Rangers' official media guide goes by a different standard. The media lists the Rangers' top 10 career batting leaders with a minimum of 300 games played with the franchise. Under that standard, the Rangers' all-time career batting leader is Al Oliver at .319, with Josh Hamilton second at .313. Young is sixth on that list also, trailing Will Clark at .308, Julio Franco at .307 and Alex Rodriguez at .305. All of this is not of particular interest to Young.
"If I was retiring today ... maybe," Young said. "But it's safe to say I don't care."
Napoli's home run streak comes to an end
DETROIT -- Mike Napoli's streak of five straight games with a home run came to an end on Saturday, when he was used as a pinch-hitter in a 3-2 loss to the Tigers in Game 2 of a doubleheader and struck out. He must have been crushed by this development."Absolutely not," Napoli said Sunday morning. Or maybe he's ready to start a new streak as he returned to the lineup at first base for Sunday's game. "That's the idea," Napoli said. "I'm just trying to get hits. If it leaves the park, I'm happy. If it's a single, I'm happy. A triple? That's probably not going to happen. So let's leave that one out." Napoli does have four career triples. He also had six home runs in five games this week before striking out against Jose Valverde in the ninth inning. He was the sixth Rangers player to hit a home run in at least five straight games. Carl Everett, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Hank Blalock also hit home runs in five straight, while Kevin Mench holds the record with seven straight back in 2006.
Manager Ron Washington said Matt Harrison will stay ahead of Neftali Feliz in the rotation. Both pitched in Saturday's doubleheader, and Harrison will be the first one back on the mound. He is scheduled to pitch Friday against the Rays, while Feliz is scheduled for Saturday. Washington said he thought the Tigers' grounds crew watered down the infield more than usual for the second game of Saturday's doubleheader, possibly to slow down the Rangers' running game. Said Washington, "I just noticed the field was more wet than usual. It's tactics. I'm happy to see it. It shows people are aware of what we're doing." Washington said he checks with center fielder Josh Hamilton every day to see if he needs a day off, a day at designated hitter or move to left field to take stress off his legs. Said Washington, "The key is, I have to keep my core players healthy. If I keep more core players healthy, some magical things will happen in Texas this year."
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.