MIN@TEX: Darvish fans 10 over eight shutout innings

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have a few legitimate All-Star candidates, and though manager Ron Washington won't lobby American League manager John Farrell on anyone's behalf, Washington nonetheless has some opinions on which Rangers players have played well enough to represent the AL in the Midsummer Classic.

Yu Darvish is practically a lock for the All-Star roster, though he has said he wouldn't pitch in the game on one day's rest. Adrian Beltre is another serious contender, coming off a torrid June, and closer Joakim Soria might be on Farrell's radar to fill out the AL bullpen.

Washington thinks all three are worthy of selection, but "there's quite a few guys out there having All-Star caliber years."

Darvish, currently at 8-4 with a 2.42 ERA and 128 strikeouts, has made the All-Star team in both of his previous two Major League seasons.

Beltre, who is second in the AL with a .333 batting average, is a three-time All-Star and two-time Rangers representative. He is second in fan voting at third base, with more than 1.3 million votes, a little more than 1 million behind Oakland's Josh Donaldson.

Soria made the All-Star team twice as a member of the Royals and has 15 saves with only one blown save. Washington, who managed the AL in 2011 and 2012 thinks Soria merits consideration.

"No doubt about it," Washington said. "But once again, that's going to be up to the manager to get some of the best pitchers he can in that bullpen. … To me, he's one of them."

Soria gives in to Twins in non-save situation

Joakim Soria: This is Real Texas Baseball

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers' closer Joakim Soria has been about as dependable as he can be this season in save situations, converting 15 of 16 opportunities with a 0.59 ERA in 15 1/3 innings. His only blown save, May 27 in Minnesota, was the only time he has been scored upon in a save opportunity -- and that was primarily due to defensive lapses behind him.

His numbers are pedestrian in non-save situations, however, and Sunday's loss only added to the discrepancy between the game-saving Soria and the other version. After giving up the go-ahead run in the ninth Sunday, Soria is now 1-2 with a 5.84 ERA in non-save situations.

Friday night was the most recent example before Sunday: Soria entered with a 5-0 lead, then allowed a season-high four runs (three earned) before getting two outs with the tying run at third.

"It's part of baseball," Soria said. "Sometimes you have tough ones. For me, it happened two times in a row and you move on to the next game and hopefully we get it done next game."

Manager Ron Washington said before Sunday's game that he doesn't think Soria is one of those closers who needs the pressure of a save situation to perform at his best.

"For me in the game of baseball, if that's an attitude anyone has, then they need to get another job," Washington said when asked if Soria experiences a letdown in non-save opportunities. "For a guy like Joakim, I would say totally not. Totally not because he's the ultimate professional. … His ERA is really the results of the three or four times that he struggled and all the other times, he stuck up zeroes."

In fact, Soria has not allowed a run in 24 of his 29 appearances. He didn't allow a hit in 19 of those outings, and he retired every batter he faced 17 times. He has also converted his last seven save opportunities.

Beltre building momentum with hot-hitting June

MIN@TEX: Beltre opens scoring with a two-run home run

ARLINGTON -- June has not been kind to the Rangers in general, but Adrian Beltre might not be ready for the month to end given his performance at the plate lately.

Beltre entered Sunday's game hitting .400 this month, with eight doubles, four homers and an 1.041 OPS. He hit .255 in March and April, then .315 in May -- but now on the strength of his recent success, he entered Sunday second in the American League with a .333 batting average.

"I'm not surprised," manager Ron Washington said. "What he's doing is he's taking now what the pitchers give to him. … They throw him a slider down and away and he decides he wants it, he'll go ahead and punch it to right field. They throw him something up and in like he likes it, he'll go for the big one. They throw him something down in the middle, he'll keep it in the middle. That's what good hitters do when they find their groove."

Beltre was 3-for-3 in Saturday's victory over the Twins and is 17-for-35 (.486) in his last 10 games entering Sunday.

"He's our big gun," Washington said.

Sardinas sent down for veteran Rosales

MIN@TEX: Sardinas insures lead with a suicide squeeze

ARLINGTON -- After Sunday's loss to the Twins, the Rangers announced they had purchased the contract of infielder Adam Rosales from Triple-A Round Rock and optioned rookie infielder Luis Sardinas to Round Rock. They will have to make a corresponding move to the 40-man roster Monday.

Sardinas hit .288 (19-for-66) in 26 at-bats for Texas. He hit .367 over his last 12 games, but did not see regular playing time.

"We want him to play," manager Ron Washington said. "He's [21] years old, he's done a great job for us, but I don't think he's developing sitting here. He needs to play. We know he can, and this is going to be good for him, that he gets out every day and goes through the challenge of playing the game of baseball."

Rosales, 31, is a career .219 hitter who played in 17 games for the Rangers toward the end of last season almost exclusively as a late-inning sub. He hit .182 (2-for-11) during that stint.

Worth noting

• Catcher Geovany Soto, who has been out since the end of Spring Training with a knee injury, caught Nick Tepesch's bullpen session Sunday and was scheduled to be one of the catchers in the bullpen when the Rangers warmed up relievers. "He's moving along," manager Ron Washington said.

• Despite being six games under .500, the Rangers lead the AL in shutouts with 14 including Saturday's 5-0 win. St. Louis leads the Majors with 15. The Rangers are the first AL team with at least 14 shutouts in the first 80 games since the 1968 Indians had 16 through 80 games. The Rangers' 14 shutouts are already sixth-most in club history.