SEATTLE -- Rangers manager Ron Washington is not a big fan of doubleheaders, especially the day-night one facing the Rangers on Memorial Day in Arizona. This is one scheduled by the Diamondbacks for attendance purposes rather than playing one game each on Monday and Tuesday.
"I wish we wouldn't have it but there's nothing you can do about it," Washington said. "I still don't understand what it's about."
With the games being played in the National League city, Washington is contemplating the possibility of using Lance Berkman in the field for the first time this season. Berkman has been limited to designated hitter duties while recovering from last year's two knee operations. Berkman said he's ready if needed.
"I'll talk to Lance about it and see what I want to do," Washington said.
This is the first time the Rangers have had a doubleheader on the original schedule since Aug. 16, 1991, against Cleveland. This will be only the eighth split doubleheader in club history. The Rangers have never swept a split doubleheader. They have been swept twice and split the other five.
Andrus the agitator given a breather Sunday
SEATTLE -- Elvis Andrus had the day off on Sunday. Maybe it was to give third baseman Adrian Beltre a break as well.
Andrus and Beltre were all over each other during Saturday's 5-2 victory over the Mariners, especially during the seventh-inning pitching change. While Robbie Ross ran in from the bullpen, Beltre chased Andrus back to his position and threw his glove at him.
Ross then got Kyle Seager to pop up on the first pitch. The ball came down just behind and to the left of the pitching mound. That should have been Andrus' ball but Beltre called him off. When Andrus still went for the ball, Beltre shoved him away. Andrus scattered to the other side of the mound while Beltre made the catch.
"Elvis just likes to aggravate Beltre," Washington said. "The shortstop is supposed to have priority but Beltre literally threw him out of the way. Beltre made sure that ball wasn't going to drop. But Andrus just likes to aggravate Beltre. He's an agitator."
This was only the third time in the first 50 games that Andrus was out of the starting lineup. Leury Garcia started the two previous times Andrus was out of the lineup but Jurickson Profar made his first start at shortstop on Sunday.
Beltre was in the lineup even though he took a wicked foul ball off his left knee in an eighth-inning at-bat on Saturday night. Said Washington, "With Adrian, he's better when he's limping."
Profar homers in first look at leadoff for Rangers
SEATTLE -- Jurickson Profar had two hits off Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez on Saturday night. His reward was the leadoff spot in the Rangers' lineup Sunday against right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma with Elvis Andrus getting the day off.
Profar led off Sunday's game with a home run at the age of 20 years, 95 days. He's the youngest player to do so since Lou Klimchock at age 18 on Sept. 28, 1958, for the Kansas City Athletics.
|Lou Klimchock||18.348||Sept. 28, 1958|
|Bob Kennedy||19.256||May 1, 1940|
|Mickey Mantle||19.328||Sept. 13, 1951|
|Sibby Sisti||19.355||July 16, 1940|
|Jurickson Profar||20.095||May 26, 2013|
|John Briggs||20.103||June 21, 1964|
Washington's other choices were center fielder Leonys Martin or second baseman Leury Garcia. But Profar is 4-for-13 since returning to the big leagues after Ian Kinsler went on the disabled list with a strained muscle in his right rib cage.
"I just felt like he has the best chance of getting on base," manager Ron Washington said.
Since Profar arrived, Washington said, "I'm seeing the same things I've been seeing. He's a baseball player. He's not afraid of the game. He goes out there and plays his game. He goes up there and has good at-bats. When you have good at-bats, good things happen."
Profar was 2-for-19 in his September callup for the Rangers last season but said, "I'm a lot more comfortable this time."
This is the first time that somebody besides Kinsler and Andrus has batted leadoff this season. Rangers leadoff hitters went into Sunday's game with a .361 on-base percentage, tied for the fourth highest in the American League. They were fifth with 34 runs scored.
Rangers to face familiar pitchers against D-backs
SEATTLE -- Former teammate Brandon McCarthy and old nemesis Trevor Cahill are among the pitchers the Rangers are expected to face this week against the Diamondbacks. Left-hander Tyler Skaggs and Cahill are expected to pitch for the D-backs in the doubleheader on Monday. When the Rangers return to Arlington, they are expected to face McCarthy and Wade Miley.
Cahill, who was with the Athletics from 2009-11, is 9-4 with a 2.78 ERA in 15 starts against the Rangers. That ERA is tied with James Shields for the lowest against the Rangers among active pitchers with at least 10 starts against them.
McCarthy is 2-4 with a 3.97 ERA in nine career starts and two relief appearances against the Rangers. He was with the Rangers for three injury-plagued seasons in 2007-09.
Skaggs is pitching the first game of the doubleheader and will be facing Martin Perez in a battle of top prospects. Skaggs is the D-backs' No. 1 rated prospect by MLB.com and Perez is No. 6 for the Rangers. He replaces Ian Kennedy, who has a laceration on his right index finger.
• Joe Nathan has two straight saves in Seattle but manager Ron Washington is hoping to stay away from him on Sunday so he'll be available for the doubleheader in Phoenix on Monday.
• Nathan's save on Saturday was the 314th of his career. He is tied with Robb Nen for 17th all-time. Nen is a former Ranger and was teammates with Nathan on the Giants in 1999-2002.
• Robbie Ross, in retiring the only batter he faced on Saturday night, has not allowed a run in his last 17 innings. It's the third longest streak going in the American League this season. His 0.42 ERA is the lowest by a reliever in the American League this season. Tanner Scheppers has the third lowest with a 0.72 ERA.
• Washington on the Angels, who took a seven-game winning streak going into Sunday: "They're playing good baseball. The key is we have to think about what we're doing. Sooner or later we knew they had to put it together. But we have our own issues."
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.