ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have decided to go with rookie left-hander Martin Perez against the Athletics on Saturday. Perez, ranked as the 23rd best prospect by MLB.com, has made one relief appearance since being recalled from Triple-A Round Rock, but this will be his first big league start.Perez was chosen over right-hander Justin Grimm because manager Ron Washington said a left-hander matches up better against the Athletics. Going into Friday's game, the Athletics were 10-14 when facing a left-handed starter and 27-26 when a right-hander starts the game on the mound. "I feel great. ... They are giving me this opportunity and I want to do the job," Perez said. "I want to do the same thing I did in Spring Training: throw the ball over the plate and see what happens." The Rangers haven't committed to Perez beyond this one start. The next time it would be his turn to pitch would be July 6 against the Twins, but the Rangers are undecided on that game. "It will be start to start," Washington said. "He's not going to be etched in stone. Put him down in pencil." The Rangers could let Perez make that start, or they could move up Yu Darvish one day and have him pitch on his normal four days' rest. Darvish is starting on Sunday, and the Rangers are off on Monday. Roy Oswalt, Scott Feldman and Matt Harrison are scheduled for Tuesday through Thursday against the White Sox. If Darvish pitches on July 6, that would allow the Rangers to take Derek Holland off the disabled list and start on July 7. Holland is scheduled to make his second rehab start on Monday at Round Rock. "That's a possibility," Washington said. "But, once again, write it in pencil. It's nothing you can write in ink." Perez pitched two-thirds of an inning on Tuesday in his Major League debut, allowing four runs, but only one was earned. He was 5-5 with a 4.59 ERA in 15 starts at Round Rock.
Lowe's injury adds to load on Nathan, Adams
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have placed pitcher Mark Lowe on the disabled list with a strained muscle in his right rib cage. He is the third Texas reliever to be placed on the disabled list, joining Alexi Ogando and Koji Uehara.The Rangers recalled pitcher Yoshinori Tateyama from Triple-A Round Rock to fill Lowe's slot. Tateyama pitched in 16 games at Round Rock and was 1-0 with a 0.43 ERA. In 21 innings, he struck out 20, walked four and held opponents to a .195 batting average. He is 3-0 in 46 appearances for the Rangers over the past two seasons. Lowe hasn't been on the mound since pitching three scoreless innings against the Tigers on Monday. That tied for the longest outing of his career and the muscle has been bothering him. He tried to throw on Friday and couldn't, prompting the Rangers to put him on the DL. Tateyama becomes the third most experienced reliever in the Rangers' bullpen behind closer Joe Nathan and setup reliever Mike Adams. Both had pitched in three straight games going into Friday. "It's not too bad," Nathan said. "We've all thrown this many games before. I'm on pace to pitch in 70 games, that's something I've done before. It's either flood or drought for a reliever, and right now we're in monsoon season." Nathan, who has 18 saves and a 1.87 ERA, leads the Rangers with 34 appearances, and Adams has 33. Yankees reliever Boone Logan leads the league with 38. "If we feel we can go, we want to be out there," Adams said. "Today, I think I might need a day off because my pitch count has been a little bit higher than I would like it be. You have to be smart sometimes. Whenever I think that I'm available, I want the ball. If there's a situation where the game's on the line, I think myself and Joe want the ball every single night in those situations. We're not going to shy away from competition." Uehara (strained lat muscle) and Ogando (strained groin) have been throwing on flat ground but have yet to progress to the mound. They are not expected to be back until after the All-Star break. Their absence leaves the Rangers with four rookies in the bullpen: Justin Grimm, Tanner Scheppers, Michael Kirkman and Robbie Ross. Mark Lowe is the only veteran besides Nathan and Adams.
Darvish says he's not All-Star
ARLINGTON -- Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish is 10-4 with a 3.57 ERA going into Sunday's start against the Athletics. He is third in the American League behind teammate Matt Harrison and David Price of the Rays, who each earned No. 11 on Friday, and Darvish is fourth with 106 strikeouts.But Darvish said Friday that he does not believe he should be on the All-Star team. "The fact that I am an All-Star candidate is more of just a build up of who I am," Darvish said. "The media creating this type of promoting me this much but, personally, do I think I'm an All Star? I don't think so. "I'm also hearing that there's a possibility that I might start in the All-Star Game and, to me, that's totally out of context. Am I going to be an All-Star? I don't know. But do I think that I'm worthy? Probably not. Plus, there's a lot of other players that deserve it. It's unfortunate if I get selected and they're more worthy than I am." The All-Star teams will be announced on Sunday, and the Rangers could have five to seven players on the team.
Rangers keep cool indoors
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers, trying to beat the summer heat, took batting practice indoors for the third straight day on Friday. They haven't hit on the field since Tuesday."You can tell when we hit on the field," Washington said. "We're sluggish for a few innings." The Rangers will take batting practice outside on Saturday. Washington doesn't want his team indoors every game. "You've got to get used to the climate," Washington said. "You've got to get used to the heat and what it's like. They've got to be on the field to get their ground balls and run the bases. It's not like we can forget about that."
Nathan has been successful on 16 straight save opportunities, the second longest active streak in the Majors. Chris Perez of the Indians has been successful on 23 straight. Nathan's career best is 27 straight in 2004 while with the Twins. The Rangers won on Thursday despite giving up three home runs and not hitting any. The Rangers had lost 23 straight games in which the opposing team had hit three or more home runs than them. The Rangers have 27 stolen bases in June, most in the Majors.
Matt Hicks, radio announcer for the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks, is joining Eric Nadel on the Rangers broadcasts for an indefinite period time while Steve Busby is on television. Busby is filling in for Dave Barnett, who is on a medical leave of absence.
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.