Texas Rangers

Rangers stick with Martinez in rotation for at least one more start

Nick Martinez, who allowed six runs in 4 1/3 innings Monday against Boston, needs to deliver Saturday to keep his spot in the rotation. “Put a foot down. It’s time,” manager Jeff Banister said.
Nick Martinez, who allowed six runs in 4 1/3 innings Monday against Boston, needs to deliver Saturday to keep his spot in the rotation. “Put a foot down. It’s time,” manager Jeff Banister said. AP

Nick Martinez will make one more start before the All-Star break Saturday after Texas Rangers manager Jeff Banister accepted the recommendation of pitching coach Doug Brocail that the right-hander get another look.

Banister, though, said that Martinez can’t do what he did Monday at Boston, where he allowed six runs in 4  1/3 innings and surrendered a 4-0 first-inning lead. Martinez will be making his fourth start, and has issued eight walks in his past two over only 9  1/3 innings.

“We need for Nick, as with all of them, to go out and give us a quality start,” Banister said. “Put a foot down. It’s time.”

Martinez was again the choice over veteran Kyle Lohse, who is coming off consecutive quality starts for Triple A Round Rock. Banister said that Martinez needs to use all four of his pitches rather than just the fastball and slider he relied on against the Red Sox.

Proximity didn’t hurt Martinez’s chances, either.

“He’s here, he’s ready, he’s done it in the past and he’s got the stuff,” Banister said. “He’s got to throw all of them together and he’s got pitch. It’s crucial that he shows up and gives us a quality start.”

Right-hander Nick Martinez said that he encountered control issues early on Wednesday but was able to make some pitches to hold the Yankees to only two runs in five innings (video by Jeff Wilson).

Left-hander Cole Hamels is scheduled to start Friday in his last outing before heading to San Diego for the All-Star Game. Hamels allowed five runs in four-plus innings Sunday at Minnesota, and expects the Twins to take the same approach of using the middle of the field.

He needs to adjust to that, but doesn’t need to do anything special.

“Cole Hamels will be fine,” Banister said.

Choo back, Moreland soon

Right fielder Shin-Soo Choo returned to the Rangers’ lineup after missing much of Tuesday’s game and sitting out Wednesday with stiffness in his lower back.

Treatment the past two days helped the back feel better, Choo said, and he expects to play all four games against the Twins leading up to the All-Star break.

“In this game, nobody feels 100 percent,” Choo said.

First baseman Mitch Moreland went through a full pregame workout and is expected to return to the lineup Friday after missing a fifth straight game because of tightness in his right calf.

He was available as a pinch-hitter if Banister chose to use him.

“It’s getting better,” Moreland said. “I had a few days off. I’m ready to go if he needs me tonight.”

Darvish throws, Holland holds

Right-hander Yu Darvish (shoulder tightness) threw 32 pitches in a bullpen session, and the Rangers will decide if Darvish will make his second rehab start either Saturday or Sunday for Double A Frisco.

Darvish threw 42 pitches in two-plus innings Monday in a start for Frisco and said he needed more time before returning to the Rangers. He could return in the Rangers’ second series after the All-Star break at Anaheim.

Left-hander Derek Holland, though, still hasn’t thrown since June 20 because of shoulder inflammation. He was to meet Thursday night with team physician Dr. Keith Meister to see if he could begin a throwing program.

Holland said that he has only a small area where there is still mild discomfort and is surprised that he hasn’t been allowed to start throwing.

“It’s way way better than it was,” Holland said. “Whatever they tell me to do, I’m going to do.”

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