CHICAGO -- Friday was a sort of homecoming for many Texas players, as seven current Rangers have spent a portion of their careers in the Windy City.
The headliners were catcher A.J. Pierzynski -- who played for the White Sox from 2005-12 and received a first-inning video tribute -- and outfielder Alex Rios, who spent five years on Chicago's South Side before being dealt to Texas on Aug. 9.
Rangers relievers Neal Cotts and Jason Frasor (White Sox) and former Cubs Matt Garza, Jeff Baker and Geovany Soto also share the Chicago connection.
"We were joking that when we first got Rios, he got a couple of big hits for us. I was like, I told [manager Ron Washington], 'You need those White Sox guys to carry the Rangers to victory,'" Pierzynski said. "Then Soto got a hit, and I was like, 'It's just Chicago guys.'"
While Pierzynski left as a free agent, Friday marked Rios' two-week anniversary as a Ranger.
"Being on the other side, it's a little weird," Rios admitted in U.S. Cellular Field's visiting clubhouse. "But, for myself, it's a good thing. I'm on a contending team. It's something I've never experienced before and it's been great so far."
Rios slid right into the Rangers clubhouse, saying he was welcomed with open arms. He's also played well (.286, three RBIs, eight runs) in 12 games with the Rangers, but he feels he can do more.
"I've helped a little bit. I haven't helped to the extent of my abilities," Rios said. "I believe I can bring more stuff to the table. But I'm still very positive and optimistic of getting better and getting better results to help the team win."
Rios went 2-for-5 and scored twice in the Rangers' 11-5 victory.
Rosales starts at DH for Rangers against Sale
CHICAGO -- Life is finally starting to get back to normal for Adam Rosales.
The Rangers infielder -- who was claimed off waivers three times in an 11-day span -- started at designated hitter in the Rangers' series opener against the White Sox on Friday night at U.S. Cellular Field.
It was Rosales' first start since July 30, and he only had two at-bats in the past two weeks. That wasn't the main reason Rangers manager Ron Washington started Rosales, though, as the manager cited Rosales' career numbers (4-for-7 with a home run) against White Sox starter Chris Sale.
"He's hit pretty well against Sale and I just hope it continues to hold true," Washington said.
The trend did in fact continue, with Rosales hitting a two-run homer off Sale in the second inning and finishing 1-for-3 with three RBIs off the southpaw.
Rosales entered Wednesday's game as a pinch-runner in the ninth inning and eventually scored the game-winning run. So it's been consecutive games of good news for the 30-year-old infielder.
"He certainly had a couple rough weeks, I know," Washington said. "But an opportunity presented itself again and we went and got him. That's one of his skillsets, he can run. And he can play a lot of positions, and I'm glad he's excited to get on the basepaths and score the winning run [Wednesday]."
Washington also said starting Rosales was just about his numbers against Sale and was unrelated to the recent slump of Jurickson Profar, who is hitting .184 (7-for-38) in his last 11 games and .210 (25-for-119) in his last 34.
The switch-hitting Profar has struggled all season against left-handers, batting .194 from the right side. Including Wednesday's series finale against the Astros, the Rangers are in a stretch in which they'll face five straight left-handed starters -- but that doesn't mean Profar is going to be on the bench for the next three games.
"He's still going to play, so I hope that gets better," Washington said.
Rangers honored to be part of Civil Rights Game
CHICAGO -- Saturday's game against the White Sox will be Major League Baseball's seventh annual Civil Rights Game, the highlight of a weekend tribute to all of those who fought on and off the field for equal rights for all Americans.
The 2013 Civil Rights Game will air nationally on MLB Network, locally on Comcast Sportsnet in Chicago and on FOX Sports Southwest in Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas.
Rangers outfielder Alex Rios said the game is special for players, especially because they represent -- and are accustomed to -- different cultures. The Rangers, in particular, have players from nine different countries.
"We as ballplayers, we have a great deal of diversity," Rios said. "We have players from all kinds of places and races, and that helped us be where we are right now. It brings some diversity together and it's good to be a part of it."
The MLB Beacon Awards Luncheon -- awarding individuals whose lives have been emblematic of the spirit of the civil rights movement -- will be held Saturday afternoon. Rangers manager Ron Washington will attend part of the event before returning to U.S. Cellular Field for the evening's game.
"I'm excited, especially for all the guys who are going to be there," Washington said. "I know them all and it's going to be nice to just catch up."
Washington and Rangers media relations offered a plethora of injury updates on Friday:
• Right-hander Neftali Feliz threw a perfect inning on Thursday at Triple-A Round Rock (one strikeout, nine pitches). He will throw Saturday or Sunday.
• Right-hander Alexi Ogando, placed on the disabled list on Tuesday with inflammation around a nerve in his right shoulder, is scheduled to begin throwing long toss within the next couple of days.
• Right-hander Nick Tepesch (right elbow inflammation) will throw live batting practice on Saturday.
• Right-hander Colby Lewis had successful right hip joint resurfacing surgery on Thursday in New York, where he will remain for 7-10 days before returning to Texas.