DETROIT -- With a lineup void of Prince Fielder's big bat and struggling to hit the long ball, it becomes even more incumbent on the group still healthy to manufacture runs however possible.
That means staying aggressive and trying to get into scoring position whenever possible. It's why Alex Rios isn't concerned by the fact that he's been caught stealing six times, which leads the AL. And it's not just Rios. His teammate, Leonys Martin, is in the top-3 in the league after getting caught four times.
"You just keep going," said Rios, who has eight stolen bases this season and was 16-for-17 with the Rangers in 47 games last year. "I don't look at numbers. I see opportunities on the bases and I try to take them. When I have a chance to go, I'll go."
Manager Ron Washington wants his speedy guys, specifically Elvis Andrus, Martin and Rios, to run as often as they can. But he noted that Rios' attempts seem to come early in counts. In fact, all six of Rios' outs on steal attempts have come on the third pitch or fewer. He's been thrown out trying to run on the first or second pitch four times. Teams know that tendency and aren't afraid to pitch out and they've gotten him twice doing that.
"He has to be a little more patient," Washington said. "Sometimes they get on the bag and they want to make it happen too soon and they don't have to. He can wait a little deeper in the count."
"If the other guy is putting up zeroes, I've got to do the same," Lewis said. "That's the deal."
Lewis, 3-3 with a 5.40 ERA so far this season, is pleased with how his body has responded in between starts. He's now had a chance to get fully re-acclimated to the routine of being in the rotation and he's bouncing back well. The hip hasn't given him any difficulties and he says his arm strength is good.
"To feel like I did all last year and to go out now every five days is great," Lewis said.
Now, he wants to get some results. Lewis gave up five runs on nine hits -- seven of them singles -- in a 6-2 loss to the Mariners. Seattle was able to string some hits together and though many of them were soft, they forced Lewis to continue to pitch under pressure with men on base. Lewis said his goal is to start putting together some solid inning back-to-back to get into a better rhythm.