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July 13, 2012

Friday pregame Rangers notes

The Rangers continue to get healthier and could have three more members of the Opening Day pitching staff return by the Oakland series.

Colby Lewis reports that all went well Friday as the threw around 35 pitches in a bullpen session at Safeco Field. He plans to throw a light bullpen Sunday ahead of a start Wednesday at Oakland. He has been on the disabed list with right forearm tendinitis since June 26. Alexi Ogando (groin) and Koji Uehara (lat) could also be back for the two-game series against the A's.

Yu Darvish, who hasn't pitched since July 1, threw 38 pitches in a bullpen session Thursday. The Rangers' scheduled starter for Saturday, Darvish has kept his arm active with four bullpens but no game action. That includes the All-Star Game, where he was picked as the American League's final pitcher in case the game went extra innings.

First baseman Mitch Moreland is at 75 percent with his strained left hamstring and could be close to a return by the Rangers' next homestand. He participated in infield drills Friday and took live batting practice Thursday against Uehara and Neftali Feliz. July 26 is an off day, and Moreland and his wife are expecting to welcome their first child, a son, that day.

Left-hander Michael Kirkman said that his left quadriceps is fine after aggravating it Sunday in the first-half finale. He is available to pitch this weekend.

With three players expected to come off the disabled list in the next few days, three players will have to be returned to Triple A. Martin Perez is likely to be one of them. Manager Ron Washington said that Perez has proven he can perform in the big leagues but needs to continue working as a starter at Round Rock rather than join the Rangers' bullpen. Perez will be used in long situations if needed before Lewis is activated from the DL.

-- Jeff Wilson



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