OAKLAND -- Mark Lowe, on the disabled list with a strained muscle in his right ribcage, threw long toss on Wednesday for the second straight day without any problem. The next step is to resume throwing off the mound for the first time since he went on the disabled list on June 26.He said he expects to throw off the mound during the Rangers three-game series against the Angels in Anaheim. "When you take two weeks off, you've got to do some things to get back into shape," Lowe said. "But right now my arm feels great. I feel like I haven't taken any time off. It feels like I never got hurt." Lowe could return at some point on the next homestand, but will need one or two outings on a rehab assignment before he is activated. He has pitched in 26 games for the Rangers and has a 2.30 ERA.
Seeking hot stretch, Hamilton's timing not there
OAKLAND -- Josh Hamilton struck out three times on Tuesday night. In his fourth at-bat, he hit his 27th home run of the season. He later added a sacrifice fly and continues to search for the timing that will allow him to go on another monster streak."I think I still have one or two left in me this season," Hamilton said. "Every at-bat is a new at-bat. I've struck out three times before. I've struck out four times. But as the game went on, my timing got better. Early in the game, I was starting too early. "I feel fine at the plate. Before the All-Star Game, I was hitting the ball hard right at people. When we came back, I didn't have a good series in Seattle. I'm not worried about it." In four games since the break, Hamilton is 2-for-14 with nine strikeouts. Hamilton's batting average has dropped to .300, but he is still tied for the league lead with 28 home runs and is leading with 78 RBIs entering Wednesday. "I might get two hits and my next at-bat I start too early," Hamilton said. "I've got to focus on each at-bat. You fight yourself sometimes. Sometimes you're up there just to be up there instead of focusing on every pitch. It's a battle, just like going up there and trying to hit the ball too hard." Adrian Beltre also hit a home run on Tuesday. The Rangers are 5-0 in games in which both Hamilton and Beltre hit a home run.
Demoted Perez left positive impression
OAKLAND -- The Rangers optioned left-handed pitcher Martin Perez to Triple-A Round Rock on Wednesday to make room for Colby Lewis, who was activated off the 15-day disabled list.Perez was 1-1 with a 5.54 ERA in two starts and two relief appearances since being called up on June 26. He was 5-5 with a 4.59 ERA in 15 starts at Round Rock. He left a positive impression with the Rangers while he was here. "I thought he was impressive," manager Ron Washington said. "For such a young kid, he handled himself very professionally. He gave us much more than we expected. We didn't know what to expect, considering he wasn't really lighting it up at Triple-A. But he made some adjustments and pitched well. He's certainly one of those kids we're not afraid to call upon if we have a need. "He's just one of those kids that doesn't need to be sitting around. He needs to go down and keep pitching. But he was extremely impressive. He certainly has the stuff to compete. It's just not his time. We told him he needs to go down and dominate. He can dominate, now it's up to him. The fact that he got some time up here, we're looking forward to him pitching well down there. We'll be disappointed if he doesn't pitch well."
Snyder makes rare start at first base
OAKLAND -- With a left-hander on the mound for Oakland, Brandon Snyder started at first base for the Rangers on Wednesday. It was just the third start in 24 games for the right-handed hitter. He went into the game hitting .296 with a .333 on-base percentage and a .481 slugging percentage."He's done a good job under the circumstances," manager Ron Washington said. "When you have a group where the regulars play every day, the extras just don't get much of a chance. But I had a talk with him the other day and I told him, 'Don't try to impress us, just do what you can do.' It's hard to hit off these pitchers in this league if you don't get a lot of repetition." Alberto Gonalez is also seeing very little playing time. The utility infielder has played in just three of the last 39 games, and Washington said he has no plans to give shortstop Elvis Andrus a day off anytime soon. "There may come a time when we need to, but right now, as long as Elvis is healthy, Elvis is going to play," Washington said.
Rangers manager Ron Washington on Mike Adams, who worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth inning on Tuesday night: "I have a lot of confidence in Mike Adams. He may have you on the top step, but he gets it done." Robbie Ross gave up an infield single to the only batter he faced on Tuesday night. It's the first time this season that he failed to retire a hitter in an appearance. But he still has a 23-inning scoreless streak, the second longest active streak in the Majors. Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster has a 33-inning scoreless streak. Ross' streak is the longest by a Rangers pitcher since Darren O'Day's 26 1/3 scoreless innings in 2010. Craig Gentry reached on a bunt single on Tuesday night. He has six, which is tied for third-most in the American League. Erick Aybar of the Angels has 15 bunt hits.
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.