KANSAS CITY -- Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler was out of the lineup on Sunday for what manager Ron Washington said was a planned day off. Kinsler is hitless in 11 career at-bats against Royals starter Luke Hochevar, but was 10-for-19 with eight runs and two home runs in his last four games. He is also hitting .358 in his last 12 games."He still needs it," Washington said. "It's not going to hurt him. He needs a day. He has been grinding. We planned this before we left Texas and I stuck with it." Washington also had Adrian Beltre at designated hitter, which allowed him to use Mike Olt at third base. Olt started at first base on Thursday and Saturday and was 2-for-5 with two RBIs in his first two Major Leagues game. All five at-bats were against left-handers, but on Sunday he was going against Hochevar, who is a right-hander. Olt, who was called up on Thursday, was hitting .294 with a .388 on-base percentage and a .573 slugging percentage against right-handers at Double-A Frisco.
Feldman looking like solid rotation option
KANSAS CITY -- Scott Feldman's reversal of fortune on the mound may change the Rangers' offseason thinking. Club officials admit they now have to at least consider the possibility of picking up Feldman's option for 2013.Two months ago that would have been viewed as not even being remotely possible. That was before Feldman ran off six straight wins and secured a spot in the rotation over Roy Oswalt. Feldman is in the final year of a two-year extension signed before the 2010 season. He was coming off a 17-win season in 2009 and agreed to a two-year, $11.5 million contract for 2011-12 with a club option for $9.25 million in 2013. The buyout is $600,000. "I just hope to keep pitching well and be back here for a long time," Feldman said. The Rangers have Yu Darvish and Derek Holland signed for next year and Matt Harrison is eligible for arbritation. Oswalt, Ryan Dempster and Colby Lewis are all eligible for free agency. Lewis and Neftali Feliz are expected to miss at least the first half of next season after undergoing arm surgery. So right now, the Rangers are looking at filling two spots in the rotation this offseason. They could move Alexi Ogando from the bullpen and two of their top pitching prospects -- Martin Perez and Justin Grimm -- made their Major League debuts this season. Zack Greinke and Kyle Lohse are the best of a mixed bag of potential free-agent starting pitchers. So if Feldman continues to pitch well for the final two months, the Rangers may view his $9.25 million option as the best way to fill one of their holes in the rotation. Feldman has won six straight decisions after losing his first six decisions. He is only the second pitcher in Major League history to lose at least his first six decisions and then win at least six straight. Doyle Alexander started the 1983 season with eight straight losses for the Yankees and Blue Jays, and then won seven straight.
Washington smiles over running blunders
KANSAS CITY -- The Rangers had a hard time running the bases in the third inning of a 4-2 victory over the Royals on Saturday. They scored two runs, but their baserunning cost them a potentially bigger inning."It happens," manager Ron Washington said. "That's the way we play and sometimes we screw it up. It was a weird inning. I couldn't get upset with it. I just laughed ... I just smiled." Josh Hamilton was in the middle of it. With one out, he lined a two-run single to left. When left-fielder Alex Gordon threw to the plate, Hamilton did not try to take second base, which led to an animated discussion with first-base coach Gary Pettis. Hamilton got there anyway when Adrian Beltre singled to center and that set up the strangest play of the inning. Nelson Cruz hit a grounder to shortstop Alcides Escobar. The ball took a tricky hop, caromed off his glove and out into center field. Hamilton was held at third by third-base coach Dave Anderson, although it appeared he could have scored easily. Beltre certainly thought so because he was racing to third base, only to have to stop when he saw Hamilton there. By then, Escobar had retrieved the ball and tossed it to second baseman Chris Getz. He tagged out Beltre in a rundown halfway between second and third. Cruz tried for second, but Getz tossed the ball back to Escobar covering. Cruz was tagged out for an inning-ending double play. "Everybody involved in that melee has to take responsibility," Washington said. "I didn't ask any questions. We just had a terrible inning and we still won the ballgame. Sometimes that comes back to haunt you. "Everybody had a difference of opinion and a different view of what happened. As a group, if we can't get past that, we're not as good as we think we are. We're past it. I didn't ask any questions after the game or [Sunday] morning."
Lowe set for one more rehab outing
KANSAS CITY -- Mark Lowe, who is on the disabled list with a strained intercoastal muscle in his right ribcage, is scheduled to pitch one inning for Triple-A Round Rock on Monday. It will be his fourth outing on medical rehabilitation assignment.
Lowe pitched two scoreless innings for Double-A Frisco on Thursday and said he feels good enough to be activated. But the Rangers want him to pitch at least once more in the Minors.Koji Uehara, who is on the disabled list with a strained lat muscle, remains limited to flat ground throwing. The Rangers are hoping he can get back on the mound by the next homestand that starts on Friday against the Tigers. Uehara has not pitched since June 9 and his return may not be until Sept. 1 when the rosters are expanded.
Manager Ron Washington entered Sunday's game still undecided if Joe Nathan was ready to pitch again. Nathan said he feels ready to go after getting Friday and Saturday off. Alexi Ogando saved both games against the Royals. The Rangers, going into Sunday, had 52 RBIs from the No. 9 spot, second lowest in the Major Leagues. The Rangers went into the series finale against the Royals with a 13-4 record on Sundays. They had won 10 of their last 12 Sunday contests.
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.