ARLINGTON -- Second baseman Ian Kinsler said the Rangers are under no extra pressure this September, even though they are trying to catch the Athletics rather than hold them off. This is the first time in four years the Rangers were not in first place for every day in September.
The Rangers went into Friday 3 1/2 games behind the Athletics in the American League West. Last year, Texas didn't get knocked out of first until Oct. 3.
"We need to win games, whether we're up in the division or behind," Kinsler said. "Every game is important. There is still an urgency to win, but there is no extra pressure this year than last year or the year before."
The Rangers went into Friday's game having lost nine of their last 13.
"Sometimes teams go through a period where things don't click," Kinsler said. "If you don't overcome that, you're not going to win. We know what's at stake. We have to play well and win the series."
Rookie Adduci getting chance to contribute in Texas
ARLINGTON -- Jim Adduci, a left-handed hitter, made his third start in left field on Friday night with right-hander Dan Straily on the mound for the Athletics. David Murphy was at designated hitter, while switch-hitters Lance Berkman and Jurickson Profar were on the bench.
"I want to see what [Adduci] can do," manager Ron Washington said. "He's a healthy bat and we're facing a right-hander, so I want to give him a shot. He might be the lightning that we're looking for."
The chances of Berkman having a meaningful role down the stretch are fading. He was 0-for-6 in two games against the A's last week, his first action since going on the disabled list on July 7 with inflammation in his left hip. Berkman continues to take batting practice and is available off the bench, but hasn't been used since his two starts in Oakland.
"With all the time we've had off and where he is, there are healthier guys," Washington said.
Adduci went into Friday's game with three hits in 10 at-bats since being called up at the beginning of September. He made his Major League debut on Sept. 3 after 10 seasons and 889 games in the Minors. He earned the promotion after hitting .298 with 24 doubles, three triples, 16 home runs, 65 RBIs and 32 stolen bases in 127 games at Triple-A Round Rock. The Rangers signed him as a Minor League free agent this past offseason.
"Any way I can help the team -- in the lineup or in a switch -- I'm going to do what I can to help the team win," Adduci said. "I've gone through some experiences with different roles on different teams. That's a big key. It helps me prepare for each game. I've been on teams where I've come off the bench and teams where I've played every day."
Lewis would like to return to Texas next season
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers signed pitcher Colby Lewis to a contract extension one year ago. Lewis was coming off surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon, and Texas signed him to a one-year, incentive-laden contract in the hopes he would be able to pitch for the club this season.
Right now, there have been no similar discussions three weeks after Lewis underwent replacement surgery on his right hip. Lewis still wants to return to the Rangers, and the club has left open the possibility. But after undergoing two different operations, Lewis will likely have to take a Minor League contract with a Spring Training invite rather than a guaranteed deal.
"I'd love to come back," Lewis said Friday. "I'm a free agent and we'll see how things go. I don't know what they will have to offer. ... We're going to see which teams are willing to take a shot. If it's all equal, I'm definitely coming back."
Lewis was 32-29 with a 3.93 ERA in 80 starts over three seasons with the Rangers after signing as a free agent. He was 4-1 with a 2.34 ERA in eight postseason starts. But, besides his arm issues, he was dealing with a chronic sore right hip for several years and finally decided to have the surgery. Lewis said he is now pain-free.
"For me to be able to sleep comfortably, it's amazing," Lewis said. "Not having to tie my shoe at a crazy angle. ... It has been great as far as quality of life. I'm excited to see how it feels to get down off the mound and field my position and have no pain when I pitch."
Rangers' top international players visit Texas
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers worked out their top five international amateur free-agent signees on Friday at the Ballpark in Arlington. Shortstops Michael DeLeon and Yeison Yrizarri, pitchers Marcos Diplan and Edgar Arredon and outfielder Jose Almonte will report on Saturday to instructional league.
"This is a group we're excited about," said Mike Daly, the Rangers' international scouting director. "It's a group our scouts are excited about it. Not only did we get to know the kids' makeup, but also had the opportunity to go see them in games. It's a big credit to our staff, and we're lucky to have a general manager, CEO and ownership group that backs us. There are a lot of people excited about adding these players to our system."
DeLeon, Yrizarri, Almonte and Diplan are all from the Dominican Republic and were among the 27 top international prospects as ranked by MLB.com. Diplan signed for $1.3 million, while Almonte agreed to a $1.8 million deal. Yrizarri signed for $1.35 million and DeLeon for $550,000.
Arredondo is from Mexico and turned 16 in May. He appeared in one game in the Mexican League on April 18, pitching two scoreless innings for Quintana Roo. He was the youngest pitcher to ever debut in the Mexican League.
• Washington said he has noticed the Ballpark in Arlington has played differently this year. Said Washington, "That wind tunnel in right-center, it's non-existent. It has been there a couple of nights, but it hasn't been consistent. Which is good. Everything is legitimate. The park has been playing really fair this year."
• Pirates infielder Clint Barmes hit a home run in the eighth inning on Wednesday in the finale of the three-game series against the Rangers. It was the only home run of the series, and there has never been a three-game series without a home run in the history of the Ballpark in Arlington.
• Kinsler was back at second base on Friday. He was used at designated hitter on Wednesday because of some soreness.
• The Rays are expected to pitch Alex Cobb, Jeremy Hellickson, Chris Archer and Matt Moore during their four-game series against the Rangers that starts Monday at Tropicana Field. The Rangers are expected to go with Matt Garza, Nick Tepesch, Derek Holland and Yu Darvish.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.