Ian Kinsler hoping to rejoin Rangers next week

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Ian Kinsler is expected to test his high-ankle sprain by doing some running today and if all goes well should be cleared to begin a minor league rehab assignment later this week. Kinsler has been sidelined since injuring his ankle in the middle of spring training, but the Rangers have gotten surprisingly good production at second base in his absence, with Joaquin Arias going 13-for-32 (.406) in eight starts.
That’s not sustainable, of course, particularly since Arias has yet to draw a walk, has managed just one extra-base hit, and carries a career .674 OPS in 349 games at Triple-A. In other words, the Rangers have been fortunate to get a nice fluke performance from Kinsler’s primary fill-in, but getting the All-Star second baseman back as soon as possible is key and it sounds like he could be ready to come off the disabled list as soon as next week.
“We don’t want him station-to-station,” manager Ron Washington told Jeff Wilson of the Dallas Morning News. “We want Kinsler. We want him to be able to come here and put his stamp on us by doing everything that he does. And if he can run, he’s ready to go. We’ll find out Tuesday if this all this work is beneficial. If all goes well, we’ll try to get him out of here.”
Kinsler debuted in 2006 and has hit .279/.350/.477 with an average of 21 homers and 23 steals per season, with his .827 OPS during that four-year span ranking fifth among all second basemen behind only Chase Utley (.931), Dustin Pedroia (.832), Robinson Cano (.831), and Dan Uggla (.830).

Astros stave off AL West elimination, beat the Diamondbacks

Colby Rasmus, Gary Pettis
AP Photo

Facing an elimination number of one, the Astros staved off elimination in the AL West by beating the Diamondbacks on Friday night by a 6-1 margin. The Rangers suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Angels on Saturday afternoon, which temporarily put the Astros’ fate in their own hands.

Colby Rasmus hit a pair of solo homers and Jose Altuve added a solo shot of his own. Starter Collin McHugh tossed seven innings of one-run ball, limiting the Diamondbacks to six hits and a walk with six strikeouts. Reliever Will Harris allowed a solo home run to Paul Goldschmidt in the eighth, but Luke Gregerson closed out the game with a scoreless ninth.

The Astros trail the Rangers by one game in the AL West and lead the Angels by one game for the second AL Wild Card slot. The Rangers can clinch the AL West on Sunday afternoon with a win or an Astros loss. The Astros can clinch the second AL Wild Card on Sunday afternoon with a win or an Angels loss.

The Yankees lost both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Orioles and lead the Astros by only one game for the first AL Wild Card slot.

If the Astros win and the Rangers lose on Sunday, they will play an AL West tiebreaker in Texas. The winner will win the second AL Wild Card if the Yankees win on Sunday, or the first AL Wild Card if the Yankees lose on Sunday.

If the Astros lose and the Angels win on Sunday, the two teams will be tied for the second AL Wild Card. They would play a tiebreaker in Houston, and the winner would play the Yankees in New York in the Wild Card game.

Video: Kelby Tomlinson slides in for an inside-the-park home run

Kelby Tomlinson
AP Photo
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Giants second baseman Kelby Tomlinson looked more like Ladainian Tomlinson the way he was running during Saturday afternoon’s game against the Rockies. In the first inning with one out against starter Chris Rusin, Tomlinson hit a fly ball into the right-center field gap at AT&T Park, a great place to go if you’re in the mood for an inside-the-park home run.

Neither Carlos Gonzalez nor Chris Dickerson could corral the ball before it rolled all the way to the 421-foot marker at the fence. Tomlinson motored around the bases, but Gonzalez made a strong throw into cut-off man D.J. LeMahieu, and LeMahieu made a great throw in to catcher Tom Murphy, but Tomlinson slid in safely just ahead of the tag.

It was an exciting play and the hit proved important as the Giants eked out a 3-2 win against the Rockies.