ARLINGTON — Joe Nathan entered Saturday on seven days rest, and the Texas Rangers closer wasnt exactly thrilled about it.Im a little shocked, he said.Extended rest for a reliever, even a reliever who will turn 39 in November, isnt a good thing. The more a reliever rests, the less effective he can become.People think youre going to be fresh, Nathan said. Its actually the opposite.Manager Ron Washington knows that, and it was his goal Saturday afternoon to find an inning for Nathan before the Rangers head out on their four-city, nine-game trek Sunday night.Nathan finally got in Saturday, working a scoreless ninth inning in the Rangers 5-1 victory, but he hadnt pitched since picking up his eighth save April 26 at Minnesota.There was an opportunity for him to get an inning of work Friday night in the Rangers 7-0 victory, but long man Derek Lowe had been off even longer than Nathan had. So Washington went with Lowe to pitch the ninth inning.If I wouldnt have got [Lowe] in there last night, it would have been 10 days, Washington said. Joes been a week. Weve got to get him in there.Nathan said that there really isnt much he can do to stay sharp. Relievers often throw on the side, and Nathan warmed Thursday night in case the Rangers rallied to tie or take the lead against Chicago.It doesnt do it justice, though, he said. I think Ive needed to get out there the last few nights. This is the time we have to do it, too. Were home. We have the luxury of throwing in any situation.Murphy falls illDavid Murphy was scheduled to get his first start of the homestand Saturday, but the left fielder was held out because of a stomach virus.He had sat out the first four games because Chicago and Boston had started left-handed pitchers and Ron Washington wanted the right-handed-hitting Jeff Baker in the lineup. Murphy entered in the fifth inning Friday and was hitless in two at-bats to drop his average to .168.We need to start facing right-handers so I can get him back out there, Washington said. Im going to give him some lefties, too.Lewis updateRight-hander Colby Lewis threw two perfect innings in an extended spring training game, and his next outing is expected to be Friday at Las Vegas for Triple A Round Rock.Lewis, who had flexor tendon surgery in July, reported no issues after striking out two and throwing 27 pitches. His fastball sat at 88 to 89 mph.It went really well, said Lewis, who will throw three innings Friday. I was happy with my feel and command, for the most part. I felt really good.Left-hander Martin Perez, who suffered a broken forearm March 3, will begin a rehab assignment Monday for Double A Frisco. He is expected to throw three innings.Briefly• Geovany Soto could catch Yu Darvish Sunday in the series finale against Boston. Washington likes the chemistry Soto and Darvish have created last season.• The Rangers will hold their annual Triple Play fundraiser Sunday night at the Hilton Anatole in Texas. The event is sold out.
Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @JeffWilson