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Texas Rangers - PlayerWatch

Reuters

1:12 PM EDT, August 21, 2014

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RHP Nick Martinez, pitching in his hometown for the first time in his MLB career, defeated the Miami Marlins 5-4 Wednesday afternoon. Martinez struck out a career-high seven in six innings, allowing just six hits, two walks and two runs in what must be considered his best overall start since he beat the Detroit Tigers on May 24. Martinez (3-9) is a 24-year-old rookie who played his high school ball at Miami's Belen Jesuit. But he has always gone under the radar. He didn't get a big-time scholarship -- playing instead at Fordham University as an infielder/pitcher. The Rangers drafted him in the 18th round in 2011, and he finally made his major league debut on April 5.

RHP Colby Lewis will make his 23rd start of the season Friday when the Rangers return home to face the first-place Kansas City Royals (AL Central). Lewis, 35, pitched better since the All-Star break -- he has a 3.29 ERA since that point. But he is 1-2 with a 6.86 ERA in five career appearances vs. the Royals, including four starts. The last time he faced the Royals was in 2012.

RF Alex Rios, who was scratched an hour before Tuesday's game due to a bruised right thumb, started Wednesday and went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs. Rangers manager Ron Washington said Rios' injury won't fully heal until the offseason. Washington explained that Rios is fine if he gets around on a pitch squarely. But if he is jammed -- which happens to all players -- the injury is aggravated.

LHP Derek Holland pitched five-plus innings Tuesday in a minor league rehab game. He allowed four runs, two earned, and could return to the majors next month, Washington said. Holland missed the entire season since left-knee surgery in March. In Tuesday's start, he threw 87 pitches, 52 of them for strikes, and gave up one homer, three walks and seven hits. He also struck out seven.

1B J.P. Arencibia, who played high school ball at Miami's Westminster Christian, started on Wednesday and went 1-for-4 with a double, a run scored and one RBI. Rangers manager Ron Washington said the fact that Arencibia is from here factored into his decision to give him the start over 1B Mike Carp. "He's a work in progress," Washington said about Arencibia as a first baseman. "He is able to catch what's hit to him and move around the bag. But he's nowhere near a first baseman yet." What about catcher, the position Arencibia played the most? "Not this year," Washington said. "He can do that, but we've got catchers. He's going to be first base / DH."