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Rangers infield appears over flu bug

Rangers infield appears over flu bug

SEATTLE -- The Rangers' infield seems to have survived the flu bug. However, as it turns out, nobody around the horn was spared.

First baseman Ben Broussard also had to battle the flu the past two days, although he was able to start all three games in Seattle.

"I've been feeling it a little bit the past few days but not as bad as those other guys," Broussard said.

Second baseman Ian Kinsler, who got it first on Monday, is fully recovered, while third baseman Hank Blalock and shortstop Michael Young, who had to drag their way through Tuesday's game with the flu, were better on Wednesday.

"I still have a sore throat, but my body feels great," Young said.

Young played nine innings on Tuesday, while Blalock, who went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles, made it through seven before Ramon Vazquez took over for him on defense.

"We talked to both," manager Ron Washington said. "Michael said he felt good. Hank didn't want to come out, but we could tell he was drained after that second double. We decided it was better to send Vazquez out there rather than send Hank out there and then have to come get him with a stretcher."

The flu bug hasn't helped the defense, as a combined four errors by Young and Kinsler have led to four unearned runs in the first two games. Washington said a throwing error by Young that bounced past Broussard in the eighth inning Tuesday was directly attributable to the flu.

"Mike didn't have his legs under him," Washington said. "He never short-hops a ball like that. We've made some mistakes, but I'm not panicking. Those guys will start making plays."

The Rangers only have four players on the bench, including just one utility infielder. Washington said if Young and Blalock couldn't have played Tuesday, then he would have started Vazquez at shortstop and backup catcher Adam Melhuse at third.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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