ARLINGTON — Ian Kinsler hadn’t seen it yet. Neither had Ron Washington. The 2013 season, after all, has a little more at stake than the 2014 season right now.But Major League Baseball released its schedule for next season Tuesday afternoon, and the Texas Rangers will open at home against the Philadelphia Phillies on March 31.It’s the fifth time in the past six years the Rangers will have opened at home, and the first time they will open against a National League team. There is always at least one interleague series going on throughout the season with an even number of teams in both the AL and NL.The Rangers also will play the Phillies on Tuesday and Wednesday, April 1-2, before going on their first road trip to Tampa Bay (April 4-6) and Boston (April 7-9). Their first road trip takes place while Arlington hosts the NCAA Men’s Final Four.Texas then returns for a 10-game homestand against Houston, Seattle and the Chicago White Sox.The Rangers’ “prime” interleague rival next season will be the Colorado Rockies, whom they will face for two consecutive two-game series. Texas plays Colorado on May 5-6 at Coors Field and May 7-8 at Rangers Ballpark.The other interleague games include home series against the Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins, and the road series are against the New York Mets, Washington Nationals and Marlins.The Red Sox are in town May 9-11, and the Yankees will visit July 28-30. The Rangers will be on the road Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day.The schedule includes an 11-game road trip in late May and early June to Detroit, Minnesota and Washington; a nine-game road trip to Cleveland, the Chicago White Sox and Houston to start August; and a seven-game homestand to finish the season, including a season-ending four-game series against Oakland.Limited optionsJoey Butler made his first start since being recalled on Sept. 3, serving as the designated hitter and batting seventh against a left-handed starter Tuesday night.Ron Washington doesn’t have more attractive options at this point. Lance Berkman is listed as a switch hitter but is unable to bat from the right side. And rookie Jurickson Profar is batting .194 against righties this season.Regarding Profar’s struggles, Washington said: “He’s been successful as a switch hitter in his young career, but it’s just so tough at the major league level to keep both sides going.”With the limited number of options, it seems more and more likely that Nelson Cruz is a lock for the postseason roster, assuming the Rangers reach the playoffs. Cruz, who is serving a 50-game suspension through the end of the regular season for using performance-enhancing drugs, is working out and will play in instructional league games beginning Sept. 18 in Arizona.Darvish updateYu Darvish is still on track to make his scheduled start Saturday against Oakland, Ron Washington said.Darvish exited Monday’s game after experiencing cramping in his right leg, but it’s not considered serious. “He’s fine,” Washington said. “Cramps can easily happen in this heat.”Darvish allowed one run over seven innings in his start against the Pirates and was on the losing end of a 1-0 game for the third time this season. Darvish is the first pitcher to suffer that many 1-0 losses in a season since Orel Hershiser suffered four such defeats with the Dodgers in 1989.Briefly• Outfielder Jim Adduci, who left Monday’s game with a right biceps strain, said he felt numbness down his right hand for a few seconds but was available off the bench Tuesday. Ron Washington said he didn’t know whether he’d start Adduci on Wednesday, though, against Pirates right-hander A.J. Burnett.• Wednesday’s starter, Matt Garza, is 2-3 with a 5.03 ERA in his last seven starts, allowing four or more runs in six of those starts. “He can pitch,” Washington said. “Just minimize the damage. That’s all.”• Nick Tepesch is the tentative fifth starter when that spot comes up next Tuesday at Tampa Bay. Tepesch is not available out of the bullpen, Washington said, but Alexi Ogando and Travis Blackley are.
Drew Davison, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @drewdavison