Baseball

MLB notes: Rangers, and Ross, off to sizzling start

This is a 2012 photo of 
Robbie Ross of the Texas Rangers baseball team. This image reflects the Texas Rangers active roster as of Feb. 28, 2012 when this image was taken. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
This is a 2012 photo of Robbie Ross of the Texas Rangers baseball team. This image reflects the Texas Rangers active roster as of Feb. 28, 2012 when this image was taken. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Texas Rangers are sending a clear message to anyone wondering how they would recover from that crushing World Series loss.

There is no hangover effect.

The Rangers (15-4) entered Thursday's off day with the best record in the majors. The two-time defending American League champions have won their first six series in a season for the first time in franchise history. They lead the majors in hitting (.295) and home runs (31), and have one of the top pitching staffs as well.

"They've put the World Series behind them ... They feel like that they're as good as any team in baseball," team president Nolan Ryan said.

The Rangers' 2.62 ERA is the AL's best. Rookie and former LCA standout Robbie Ross (4-0), the only lefty in the bullpen though he wasn't even in the team's plans this spring, was tied for the major-league lead in victories. He is the first pitcher in the majors since at least 1918 to earn four relief wins in his first six career appearances.

Twins' Parmelee OK after beaning

The Twins say first baseman Chris Parmelee "is doing well" a day after he was hit in the head by a pitch from Boston's Justin Thomas. A Twins spokesman says Parmelee was examined again by team doctors on Thursday and showed no signs of a concussion. He is listed as day to day.

It was a scary scene in the sixth inning on Wednesday night. A fastball got away from Thomas, and Parmelee was unable to get out of the way before it hit the bill of his batting helmet. The impact made a loud noise and the ball ricocheted way over by the Red Sox bullpen.

Elbow surgery likely for Pelfrey

The Mets say starter Mike Pelfrey will likely have reconstructive elbow surgery that will sideline him until next year. Pelfrey has a partially torn ligament in his pitching elbow. He was put on the disabled list Tuesday when an MRI showed swelling in the joint. Pelfrey was 0-0 with a 2.29 ERA after three starts. He said he often felt "a little grab" in his arm on his first pitch of an inning Saturday, but then it would go away.

Short hops

Albert Pujols went 1-for-4 Thursday, ending his hitless streak at a career-worst 21 at-bats. Pujols was thrown out attempting to stretch the single into a double. Pujols has not homered in 19 games and 76 at-bats this season. He's homerless in 105 regular-season at-bats since Sept. 22, tying his longest drought. The three-time NL MVP is hitting .224 with a .280 on-base percentage after leaving St. Louis to sign a $240 million, 10-year contract with the Angels.

■ Royals left-hander Danny Duffy will miss his scheduled start against Minnesota on Friday because of tightness in his throwing elbow. The injury isn't considered serious and the Royals expect Duffy to start next week against Detroit. He's 1-2 with a 3.63 ERA in three starts.

■ The Tigers released slumping third baseman Brandon Inge after a 5-4 loss to the Seattle Mariners on Thursday. The 34-year-old Inge is batting .100 (2-for-20) with a home run and two RBI this season, his 12th in the majors.

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