Extra Bases: Michael Choice finds his swing

HOUSTON -- Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington threw batting practice Friday night and noticed something was different about left fielder Michael Choice.

He had a different swing in BP than in games.

After he was recalled from Triple-A Round Rock on Monday, Choice started his second stint with Texas in an 0-for-10 spell. But on Friday night, he had a career-high three hits, including a three-run homer in the fourth inning of the Rangers' 13-6 victory over the Houston Astros.

"Just kinda keeping my head down a little bit longer and using my hands and not as much body," Choice said in explaining the technique change.

Choice was on the opening day roster after a fantastic spring training, but the Arlington, Texas, native was demoted after he produced a slash line of .177/.247/.318 through July 7.

Now, however, the Rangers want to give some of their younger players, particularly Choice, more opportunities in the final two months of the season.

"He just needs to relax and trust his ability," Washington said of Choice. "Let the ball travel like he did and do the best he can to put the bat head on it, instead of trying to force things."

Rookies all over the place: The Rangers started five rookies Friday night, and they went a combined 9-of-23 with eight RBI and two home runs.

Daniel Robertson and Rougned Odor had two hits each, and Choice added three. Reliever Alexander Claudio also came in and pitched 1 2/3 innings.

"They swung the bats well," Washington said of the rookies. "They made things happen -- they really did. Robertson did a good job of making it happen for us from the beginning, a leadoff walk, and Elvis (Andrus) hits a double. Nice to see (Alex) Rios in there swinging the bat."