They might not be playing as well as they can, but the Texas Rangers continue to find ways to win. They went 7-3 on their 10-game homestand, and have won a season-long seven consecutive series.
Texas opened its week with a three-game series against Detroit. Justin Grimm struggled over one-plus innings in the series opener, but the Rangers rebounded by taking the final two.
The Rangers then had a four-game series against Oakland, and took three of four. They had come-from-behind victories in the first three before falling 3-1 in the series finale. Texas improved to .500 – 13-13 – against American League West opponents.
It wasn’t all good news for the Rangers last week, though. They had two more pitchers land on the disabled list. Colby Lewis went down with right forearm tendinitis, as the team called up top pitching prospect Martin Perez. Three days after Lewis, Mark Lowe headed to the DL with a right intercostal (rib) strain.
The Rangers have half of their Opening Day pitching staff on the DL – Lewis, Lowe, Neftali Feliz, Derek Holland, Alexi Ogando and Koji Uehara.
But, as Ron Washington likes to say, baseball isn’t going to stop the schedule. Here’s a look at the week ahead for the Rangers, who will see the best and worst the AL Central has to offer –
Tuesday-Thursday at Chicago White Sox: The Rangers are off today, and then open a three-game series against the AL Central leaders. The Rangers will go with Roy Oswalt, Scott Feldman and Matt Harrison in the series. Oswalt has won his first two starts since joining the Rangers, and will be pitching at U.S. Cellular for the first time since 2006. Feldman has taken over Colby Lewis’ spot in the rotation, and won his last start Thursday against Oakland. And Harrison, who was selected to the AL All-Star team by manager Ron Washington, has been the Rangers best pitcher over the past month. Texas opened the season against Chicago, taking two of three.
Friday-Sunday vs. Minnesota: The Rangers return home for a three-game series before the All-Star break. They have been good at capitalizing against weaker opponents the past few seasons, and swept the Twins on the road in April. The biggest question going into the series is how the rotation will shake out. Derek Holland, who makes his second rehab start tonight at Triple A Round Rock, could come back for Saturday’s start. Yu Darvish is penciled in as the starter, but he could be pushed up to Friday on regular four days’ rest. If Holland isn’t deemed ready to return for Saturday, the Rangers will start either Martin Perez or Justin Grimm on Friday.
-- Drew Davison