NEW YORK -- Vladimir Guerrero is just 1-for-9 in the first two games of the American League Championship Series and 6-for-28 (.214) with one RBI in the playoffs. But Rangers manager Ron Washington said there is no way he is going to drop Guerrero out of the cleanup spot."That's the way I ran the lineup all year, and it's going to stay that way," Washington said. "A guy of Vlad's stature, he's only one swing away from doing damage. He's our No. 4 hitter and he's going to stay that way." Nelson Cruz, who is batting fifth, is 11-for-27 with three home runs in the playoffs. Guerrero was in the cleanup spot in every game he started during the regular season. Washington is undecided on how he'll deploy his outfield with right-hander A.J. Burnett pitching in Game 4 for the Yankees. David Murphy started in Game 2 with right-hander Phil Hughes on the mound and had a home run and a double. But Washington is still considering using Julio Borbon in the outfield. "I haven't had a chance to get Borbon in there," Washington said.
Moreland gets call at first vs. lefty Pettitte
NEW YORK -- Rangers manager Ron Washington decided to go with Mitch Moreland at first base against left-hander Andy Pettitte.Moreland is a left-handed hitter and lefties hit .186 off Pettitte during the regular season. But Moreland is 6-for-19 in the playoffs, so Washington will send him out there for Game 3 of the American League Championship Series on Monday night, rather than right-hander Jorge Cantu. "He's swinging the bat," Washington said of Moreland. "He's having good at-bats, so I want to keep him going. The toughest part was putting him in there against that crafty lefty, but if he maintains his approach, it won't matter. He could probably go out there and go 0-fer against Pettitte just as Cantu, but he's swinging a hot bat and I want to stay with the hot hand." Cantu has played in just two playoff games and is 0-for-7. Cantu also has not been used for defensive purposes late in the game, even though Washington described Moreland's defense as "adequate." "I just haven't because I didn't feel it's necessary," Washington said. Washington said Moreland still needs work defensively. "He has a lot of room to get better," Washington said. "There is still a lot around that bag that he has to learn."
Lee can make history with double-digit K's
NEW YORK -- With 10 or more strikeouts Monday night, the Rangers' Cliff Lee can write his name in the record books yet again.
Lee fanned 10 in Game 1 of the American League Division Series and followed that up with 11 in Game 5. No pitcher in Major League history has ever had three 10-plus strikeout games in the same postseason, much less three straight games of them.
Lee has four career 10-plus strikeout playoff games, which ties him for second all time with John Smoltz and Mike Mussina. Bob Gibson and Randy Johnson share the record with five.
In Game 1 of the 2009 World Series, Lee fanned 10 Yankees, but he managed just three in his Game 5 win over New York.
Lee's other double-digit strikeout game came in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series last year, when he fanned 10 Dodgers.
During the 2010 regular season, Lee recorded 10 or more strikeouts six times, with his career high coming July 27, when he punched out 13 Oakland hitters.
Rangers won't stop running against Pettitte
NEW YORK -- Left-hander Andy Pettitte, the Yankees' starter for Game 3 of the American League Championship Series, is known for controlling the running game. His 27 pickoffs in the past five years rank second behind White Sox left-hander Mark Buehrle, who has 41.
The Rangers are known to be active on the bases. After all, they pulled off a double steal in Game 2 against New York on Saturday. But don't expect them to stop wrecking havoc on the bases because Pettitte is on the mound, according to Rangers manager Ron Washington.
This year, the Rangers have stolen two bases in three attempts against Pettitte.
"You know, we'll show up as usual," Washington said. "We'll go play. If we can't run the bases, we're not going to force it. We can play baseball in many ways. Whatever it takes for us to do on that day to win a ballgame, we'll do.
"I think everybody in baseball knows what Andy Pettitte is all about. We certainly know. It's going to be a very good game [Monday] night. And once again, we're looking for opportunities. We're looking to take advantage, as they are."
First-base umpire Angel Hernandez may play a role with how much Pettitte can control the running game. Hernandez has had a reputation for calling his share of balks during his career. According to ESPN's Buster Olney, Hernandez has called three balks on Pettitte over the years.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He can also be found on Twitter -- @washingnats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.