The Texas catcher had his rehab start cut short Sunday night for Frisco by the same problems that put him on the disabled list. Saltalamacchia left after seven innings with fatigue and numbness in his right hand. The catcher said his chances at surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome are 50-50. He plans to meet with team doctor Keith Meister and hopes to get a second opinion. He was originally hoping to be activated from the disabled list Tuesday when rosters expand.
The team has signed infielder Justin Leone, right-hander Mike Wood and left-hander Chris Cooper to contracts with Triple A Oklahoma City. The organization has also released Ryan Freel, who they signed Friday night. Freel played two games with the RedHawks.
The Rangers Mailbag is seeking questions for the week. Some have already been submitted. The nine-game road trip saw some missed opportunities that a chasing team can't make, especially when the teams being chased don't seem to lose games like the one the Rangers lost Sunday. The Rangers insist there is ample time to charge into a postseason berth, but there isn't enough time for another ho-hum series against Toronto.
Minnesota scored three times in the eighth against C.J. Wilson and then saw Joe Nathan escape from a bases-loaded jam with no outs to preserve a 5-3 victory. Hank Blalock, Nelson Cruz and Ivan Rodriguez reached to start the ninth, but Nathan struck out Elvis Andrus on three pitches. Julio Borbon followed and flew weakly to shallow left field. That left things up to Michael Young, who grounded into a fielder's choice on the first pitch.
The Rangers finished 4-5 on their nine-game road trip and will return home 3 1/2 games back in the wild-card standings. The Angels are leading Oakland, so the Rangers will be five back in the West if the A's don't rally.
Jason Kubel hit a two-run homer in the fourth to erase a 1-0 Rangers lead and put the Twins up 2-1 entering the sixth inning. The Rangers' offense has been in hibernation the past two innings, and Hank Blalock and Nelson Cruz aren't exactly distinguishing themselves so far. Each has struck out twice, in 13 combined pitches, and each has made a fielding gaffe behind Kevin Millwood.
Millwood just finished the fifth at 95 pitches. He doesn't seem to have much juice on his fastball, and his pace seems slower than normal. The Rangers sure could use another inning out of him. Six today would give him 167 on the season and leave him 13 shy of the magical 180 mark that will automatically kick in his 2010 contract for $12 million.
Elvis Andrus singled home Ivan Rodriguez, who started the third with a double, and Kevin Millwood pitched around a lead-off double in the bottom of the inning to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead after three innings. The Rangers missed a chance for more in the third when Josh Hamilton struck out with runners at first and second and two outs.
Ivan Rodriguez hit a one-out solo homer in the ninth, his first for the Rangers since Sept. 29, 2002, to give Frank Francisco an extra run to work with as he attempts to close out a victory over Minnesota. The Rangers scored twice in the first and once in the ninth to build a 3-0 lead.
The Rangers have dodged trouble the past two innings and still hold a 2-0 lead after six innings. The first two Twins reached in the sixth against Scott Feldman, but he got the next two hitters without a run scoring. Neftali Feliz entered and struck out Michael Cuddyer to end the inning, but four of the six pitched Feliz threw were curveballs. He hit 90 and 92 on the other two pitches, which he has done with his split-fingered pitch in the past. Wondering if that's what those pitches were or if he just hasn't gotten loose yet in a chilly Metrodome.