Ben Zobrist, an everyday player at second base and right field, essentially became the Rays' starting shortstop a few weeks ago, and that experiment has gone about as well as possible. In addition to providing solid defense at short, Zobrist has hit .361 (17-for-47) with six doubles, a triple, three homers, eight RBIs and 10 runs as a shortstop. Tampa Bay has gone 9-4 with Zobrist starting at shortstop, although that record has also corresponded somewhat with the return of Evan Longoria. The Rays are 11-3 when Longoria starts at designated hitter this season and 16-10 when he starts at third base. Rangers: Beltre in rarefied air
Adrian Beltre accomplished two rare feats recently, becoming the second player in Major League history with a three-homer game and a cycle in the same week. The last hitter to do it was Joe DiMaggio in 1948. Beltre became the sixth player to hit for the cycle in Rangers history against the Twins on Friday, two days after blasting three home runs against the Orioles. "Hitting three home runs in a game is great, but the cycle, that's awesome," Rangers manager Ron Washington said on Friday. "It's not easy to do. We got him on fire at the right time. He had been struggling, but it was only a matter of time with Beltre. He stung the ball all night." Nelson Cruz, who secured his fourth straight 20-homer season with a long ball on Sunday, is 5-for-10 with a home run off of Price. That's the highest average of any player with at least 10 at-bats against him. Worth noting Holland has struggled against current Rays hitters. In 115 plate appearances, Tampa Bay players have hit .362 with a .417 on-base percentage and a .676 slugging percentage against Holland, with B.J. Upton (1.486 OPS) and Longoria (1.428 OPS) doing most of the damage. The Rangers are expecting Michael Young back from paternity leave on Monday. The Rays have the best record in the Majors against the AL West at 21-11.