HOUSTON — The Texas Rangers got good reports back on Lance Berkman in his first rehab appearance at Triple A Round Rock on Saturday. The same can’t be said for reliever Neftali Feliz, who was scratched from his scheduled appearance for precautionary reasons.Berkman, on the disabled list with left hip inflammation, went 2 for 3 with a home run and an RBI single.“He swung the bat well,” manager Ron Washington said. “The one thing he knows how to do is hit. If his body allows him to, he’ll hit.”Berkman, 37, didn’t test his ability to run in game action, though. That is one hurdle the Rangers would like to see him clear before returning to the big leagues.The team doesn’t have a set number of at-bats it’d like Berkman to get on his rehab assignment, but he likely won’t return until Friday at the earliest.Washington said Berkman would resume being the regular designated hitter for the Rangers when he returns. Berkman could start two games and then get a day off, Washington said, but he won’t sit him on the bench.“If this guy is right, he’s another weapon,” Washington said.Feliz, meanwhile, didn’t make a second scheduled appearance with the Express on Saturday because of mild triceps tendinitis. The Rangers said it is not considered serious.Feliz threw off flat ground Sunday and will be re-evaluated. He could be ready to go by Tuesday.Darvish dealingYu Darvish flashed a smile when asked about the possibility of throwing left-handed to give the Houston Astros a different look on Monday in his fourth start against them.“When a big situation comes up, I think I’ll throw left-handed,” Darvish said, jokingly.For now, though, Darvish doesn’t need to worry about changing anything he’s doing. He’s gone 3-1 with a 1.37 ERA in four starts since the All-Star break and leads the league with 192 strikeouts.Darvish said he’s commanded his two-seam and four-seam fastballs and his slider well since the break.At this time last year, Darvish began his impressive stretch run. He went 5-1 with a 2.35 ERA over his final eight starts, but he wasn’t predicting that type of finish this year.“I don’t know if I’m going to have the surge that I had last year, but I am a little more consistent this year than last year,” Darvish said. “My main goal is to keep where I am right now and pitch my game every time I go out there.”Getting thereJoakim Soria is coming back from a second Tommy John elbow surgery this season, and it will take time before he regains his All-Star form.He worked in and out of trouble in the eighth inning Saturday, another sign that he has room to grow.“Some days you feel good, some days you feel unbelievably good and sometimes you feel not that good,” Soria said. “But it’s part of the process. It’s part of coming back, and I feel everything is good right now.”Soria retired the first two batters he faced before giving up a single and a walk Saturday. He got out of the jam, though, by striking out Brandon Barnes.“What he has is craftiness and knowledge,” Ron Washington said. “The more he gets the ball, the better he’ll get. There’s no doubt about that.”Briefly• The Rangers and White Sox officially completed the Alex Rios trade on Sunday. As expected, infielder Leury Garcia was sent to Chicago as the player to be named later.• Reliever Jason Frasor was the winning pitcher Saturday, marking his third win since July 29. That is tied for the most in the majors in that span.
Drew Davison, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @drewdavison