Buzz: Elvis Andrus hitting in clutch again

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Elvis Andrus is making the most of his RBI opportunities early in the season.

Andrus drove in three runs in Tuesday's 6-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays, twice coming through with runners in scoring position. It continues a trend from last season, when he batted .350 in those situations.

Andrus has two hits in seven at-bats with runners in scoring position so far. On Tuesday, he had a run-scoring single and an RBI on groundout with a runner at third and one out. He had a two-run single to give the Rangers a 5-1 cushion Monday night. The Rangers had to hold on for a 5-4 victory.

Andrus has four RBIs in eight games despite batting .250 overall.

"I need to have the same focus when I have nobody on," Andrus said. "I'd be hitting .300 for my career. I just love it. Anytime I have that situation I try to close the field to a tunnel, to a gap and just try to shoot the ball in the middle. I feel way better. I'm seeing pitches better."

Grimm gets Thursday start: Right-hander Justin Grimm went 0-2 with a 9.64 ERA this spring, struggling while competing to be the fifth starter. There's no time to harp on that with Grimm getting the start Thursday in Seattle in place of Matt Harrison, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list.

"I expect (Justin) to come in and keep us in the ball game," manager Ron Washington said. "He's a strike thrower. He knows how he's supposed to use those strikes. If he comes up here and does that, he'll be fine."

Grimm pitched better when he was sent out to finish the spring with the Rangers' Triple-A team. He had a solid first regular-season start for Round Rock last Friday, allowing a run in 5 2/3 innings.

"He did go down to Triple-A and put things together when he left us in big league camp," Washington said. "More than anything it was repetition. He's the kind of pitcher that needs that."

Berkman gets day off: Designated hitter Lance Berkman, who is batting .480 with a .594 on-base average, was given the day off Wednesday. Berkman, coming off two knee surgeries, will be back in the lineup Thursday in Seattle.

He was fine with the day off and said he wasn't going to pull an Adrian Beltre and beg his way into the lineup. "No, I won't do that," Berkman said.

Darvish ready: Yu Darvish's blister is getting smaller and he is set to start Friday against Seattle.

Rangers trade catcher: The Rangers traded Triple-A catcher Juan Apodaca to the Rays for cash considerations. Apodaca was on Round Rock's disabled list.