The Rangers made the change when Vladimir Guerrero had to be scratched after taking a batted ball off his left eye in batting practice. Losing Guerrero meant the Rangers were without their top two run producers as Nelson Cruz is on the disabled list with a hamstring injury.
Young still may be the Rangers' hottest hitter, and both he and catcher Matt Treanor led another offensive assault on the White Sox pitching staff in a 9-5 victory at U.S. Cellular Field. Treanor contributed four RBIs, with a home run, two-run double and sacrifice fly in the Rangers' second consecutive win over the White Sox.
The Rangers, who had 12 hits on Wednesday, have combined for 31 hits in back-to-back nights and have a chance to sweep a three-game series from the White Sox in Chicago for the first time since 1986. Guerrero remains questionable with some swelling over his left eye, but the Rangers go into Thursday's game with a one-game lead over the Athletics in the American League West after scoring 18 runs over two games at U.S. Cellular Field.
"It's a good place to hit," outfielder David Murphy said. "But it was only a matter of time when you've got the kind of guys we do in our offense. Hopefully, we can continue, and it's also good when the bottom of the order is contributing."
Scott Feldman, given a 3-0 lead in the first inning, picked up the victory despite allowing five runs in eight innings. Feldman was touched for two runs in the first inning, giving up a single to Juan Pierre, a double to Omar Vizquel and a single to Alex Rios. He was still able to get out of the frame with a 3-2 lead, then allowed only one run on three hits over his next six innings, until he surrendered two runs in the eighth. Meanwhile, the Rangers went to work on the White Sox pitching.
"Giving up any runs in that situation is not what you want to do," Feldman said of the first inning. "I don't feel I made bad pitches that first inning, but the next thing you know, they score two runs. But I was able to settle down, and we put some runs on the board."
Feldman gave up two home runs to Paul Konerko, in the sixth and eighth innings. But Feldman, in getting his first road win of the season, was the first Rangers pitcher to throw at least seven innings since he did so on May 15 against the Blue Jays.
"With the exception of Paul Konerko, I threw the ball pretty good," Feldman said. "I hope he gets food poisoning the next time we play them. He was swinging the bat pretty good tonight."
Feldman is now 3-5 with a 5.82 ERA on the season.
"That's probably the best you'll see a guy pitch for giving up five runs," Treanor said. "He was locating the ball and letting his natural movement do his thing. He wasn't forcing anything. He mixed it up, and it was working."
White Sox starter Gavin Floyd couldn't get through three innings. Young and Co. went to work on him right from the start and tagged him for six runs in 2 2/3 innings.
"Maybe the first year in his career here, but I don't think I've ever seen him this bad," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "Bouncing balls, getting hit hard. That's the first time I've seen him pitching this way. This kid, every time he is in there, we believe we have a chance. Nothing was working with him. I tried to stay with him as long as I can, because our bullpen is very thin, and I couldn't."
Young, who was 3-for-5 on the night, got the Rangers started in the first with a one-out double to right and scored on a two-out single from Josh Hamilton. After a single by Murphy and a walk to Justin Smoak, Treanor doubled into the left-field corner to give the Rangers a three-run lead.
Either Young or Treanor played a part in every rally. Young had a double in the two-run second inning; Treanor led off the third with a home run; Young had a two-run single in the fifth; and Treanor had a sacrifice fly in the sixth.
Young is now 29-for-70 (.414) over his past 17 games, raising his average from .282 to .325. He has six doubles in his past four games.
"I just try to keep the same approach," Young said. "I don't change much when I hit. I may make the day-to-day adjustments, but I never make any major overhauls. I just trust it and move on."
He welcomed the adjustment to designated hitter. The Rangers weren't thrilled to see Guerrero have to walk off the field in batting practice after getting smacked in the eye with a baseball. It sent a momentary pall over the team. But Young had played all but two innings at third base this season and liked the idea of the change for at least one night.
"I welcomed it," Young said. "I jumped at the chance to get off my feet and still have a chance to contribute."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.