The Texas Rangers aren’t sure when or where they will play the Houston Astros this week, but they know which pitchers will start in the three-game series.
The games are scheduled for Tuesday-Thursday at Minute Maid Park, but the Rangers and Astros are in a holding pattern due to the catastrophic flooding in the Houston area caused by the remnants of Hurricane Harvey.
Left-hander Martin Perez, the Rangers’ hottest pitcher, is schedule for the opener, and will be followed by right-hander Andrew Cashner and lefty Cole Hamels. There is an outside chance that Nick Martinez will start Thursday, though the Rangers will go with Hamels if he says he’s ready.
Manager Jeff Banister also said that the Rangers might try to keep Hamels pitching every fifth day instead of every fifth game as they enter the stretch run while still in the mix for a wild-card spot.
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“We’ve talked about that,” Banister said. “We don’t have any real hard pitch counts on him. Since the All-Star break, we’ve taken him out when we felt like it was the best time to take him out.
“Keeping him on turn, we’ve looked at all the numbers. And then the overall matchups. You’ve got to win every game, but some of those head-to-head matchups with some of the teams we’re chasing are vital also.”
Perez has won four consecutive starts and is tied with Hamels for the team lead in wins (nine). Hamels saw his four-start winning streak snapped Saturday after allowing six runs in 4 1/3 innings.