Texas Rangers - PlayerWatch


4:35 AM EDT, July 24, 2014


RHP Roman Mendez was the only reliever unavailable Wednesday, according to manager Ron Washington. Mendez has retired 26 of 33 hitters in five outings spanning 8 2/3 innings. Washington has used Mendez for more than one inning in four of those outings. On Tuesday, he threw 34 pitches in 1 2/3 innings, retiring the first five hitters before issuing two walks. In Washington's estimation, Mendez has struggled in his second inning at times because his mechanics are causing him to open up a little when releasing pitches.

RHP Yu Darvish allowed two runs and four hits in 4 1/3 innings and has lost four of his last seven starts. Over that stretch, he has 4.61 ERA. Before this period, he was 7-2 with a 2.11 ERA.

RHP Corey Knebel was acquired from Detroit along with RHP Jake Thompson for Texas closer Joakim Soria. Knebel was drafted in the first round (39th overall) in 2013 and has a 6-2 record and a 1.26 ERA in 64 1/3 innings in the minor leagues. The 22-year-old former University of Texas pitcher will be assigned to Triple-A Round Rock.

DH Jake Smolinski sat out a second straight game with a bruised left foot and is day-to-day. Smolinski is hitting .389 since joining the team on July 7.

RHP Colby Lewis will make his 18th start Thursday against the New York Yankees. Lewis has allowed two earned runs or less in three of his last four starts. The one time he allowed more than two was when he gave up 13 runs (11 earned) and 13 hits in 2 1/3 innings of a 15-6 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on July 10. In a 4-1 loss at Toronto last Saturday, he allowed two runs and eight hits in five innings. Lewis faced the Yankees and picked up two wins in the 2010 ALCS but has not faced them in the regular season since going 0-2 with a 6.89 ERA in three starts in 2003.

RF Alex Rios returned to the lineup after missing three games with a sprained right ankle. He said he could have been a pinch hitter during Tuesday's 14-inning loss. Rios went 1-for-2 and was caught stealing in a rainy five-inning loss in New York.