ARLINGTON -- Ron Washington is playing this year's All-Star Game to win.While Washington said that he will make an effort to get every All-Star on the field at some point, his first priority is an American League victory. "It's not like your team, where you have nine guys that you ride and then those other guys just fill in when they get an opportunity. These are All-Stars," Washington said. "We'll flow with it and when we get deep in the game and we have a lead, we'll be playing to win." With the fan and player All-Star voting rounds complete, Washington chose the final seven players on the AL All-Star roster. His choices won't be announced until Sunday, but he finished Saturday. "It wasn't as stressful this time around as it was last time," Washington said. "I'd get home and maybe take half an hour or an hour while I'm watching TV. On commercial time, I'd go through it and write some stuff down. It wasn't distracting. But it's hard knowing that there are going to be some disappointed people." Washington's team fell to Bruce Bochy's NL squad in last year's All-Star Game, forcing the Rangers to play Games 6 and 7 of the World Series in St. Louis. The Rangers lost both, but Washington said he doesn't mind the fact the All-Star Game determines home-field advantage in the Fall Classic. "Game 6 or 7 would have turned out differently if we would have made some pitches. Being in St. Louis had nothing to do with it," Washington said. "That's the format. That's what we play under. I don't stress out about things I can't control."
Lowe begins recovery from lingering injury
ARLINGTON -- When asked about Mark Lowe throwing a career-high three innings on Tuesday, Rangers manager Ron Washington raved about how much respect he earned in the clubhouse.But the outing may have also been a reason Lowe was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Friday with a strained rib cage muscle. "It's hard to say," Lowe said. "I could've thrown one inning and came back the next day and felt the same thing. But it did come after the three-inning stint. It was something that had been going on for a while, so it was just a matter of time." Lowe said he began feeling discomfort in his side during the Rangers' series against the Angels, their first of the month. But he was able to pitch through the pain, holding hitters to a .158 average and posting a 1.64 ERA in eight June appearances, down from a 3.14 ERA in 13 May outings. "I could get loose, and I didn't feel it playing catch or once I got warm," Lowe said. "That three-inning stint was the first time I couldn't get loose, and it stayed sore. ... Whenever I'm at a point where I'm playing catch and I'm thinking about how my body feels, I know it's time to take some time off. That's how I felt yesterday." Lowe will be eligible to come off the DL on July 11, the day after the All-Star Game. If he is able return at that time, he will have missed nine games. "It came at a good time where I have four extra days," Lowe said. "I don't think it's anything major to where I have to miss significant time." Lowe became the sixth Rangers pitcher to be placed on the DL, joining Colby Lewis (forearm tightness), Neftali Feliz (elbow inflammation), Derek Holland (elbow fatigue), Alexi Ogando (strained groin) and Koji Uehara (strained lat).
Feliz feeling better, could be on mound soon
ARLINGTON -- Neftali Feliz is not expected to return from the disabled list until after the All-Star break, but he should be on a mound before then.Feliz, who was shelved with right elbow inflammation on May 21, began throwing last week when the Rangers were in San Diego. Texas is set to play a three-game series with the White Sox beginning Tuesday in Chicago, where Feliz believes he will continue his rehab in the bullpen. It would be the first time he threw from a mound in nearly seven weeks. "Every day I'm working a lot. I'm feeling better and better," Feliz said. "I'll try to go to Chicago and throw a bullpen. I don't know what day it is, but I'm going to throw a bullpen in Chicago." Feliz went 3-1 with a 3.16 ERA before landing on the DL. He struck out 37 and walked 23 in 42 2/3 innings, holding opposing hitters to a .187 batting average. An All-Star closer two years ago, Feliz has expressed his desire to return to the rotation, but he said the club hasn't decided what his responsibilities will be when he returns. "Nobody's told me anything about what I'm going to do. It's not my decision, though," Feliz said. "If I went to the bullpen, I'd still be happy and help the team any way I could." Feliz was moved from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL on June 16. He is eligible to return to action on July 18.
Wash confident A's will see different Darvish
ARLINGTON -- Before Rangers teammate Matt Harrison and the Rays' David Price picked up their 11th wins on Friday, Yu Darvish was tied for the AL wins lead. He'll have a chance to knot things back up Sunday against the Athletics, the last team to beat him. Darvish allowed six runs on six hits over 5 1/3 innings while issuing a season-high walks in the 7-1 defeat."They can be damn sure it's not going to be the Darvish they saw in Oakland," manager Ron Washington said. "It's not going to be that Darvish. I don't know what the results are going to be but they won't see that Darvish." Darvish, who beat the A's May 16, has won his three starts since falling to them earlier this month. He is 3-0 with a 3.13 ERA with 24 strikeouts and six walks during that stretch. "The key to him is being able to put his fastball in the strike zone where he wants it," Washington said. "If he does that, the rest of it will fall into place. He's getting smarter. He's learning."
Despite being third in the American League in wins and fourth with 106 strikeouts, Darvish said Friday that he didn't believe he deserves to be an All-Star."He's a very humble guy," Washington said. "He doesn't want to feel like he's patting himself on the back."
Rangers outfielder Jeremy Williams was promoted from Low-A Hickory to High-A Myrtle Beach on Saturday. Williams, the Rangers' 36th-round selection in the 2011 Draft, was hitting .304 with eight home runs and 42 RBIs with Hickory. Harrison is the first Rangers pitcher with 11 wins before the All-Star break since Kenny Rogers won 12 before the Midsummer Classic in 2004. Harrison also matched the team record for wins in a month with five this June. Over the last three years, 18 pitchers have had 11 wins before the All-Star break and all of them were All-Stars, which bodes well for Harrison (11-3). Since 2003, 50 of the 61 pitchers with at least 11 wins at the break were named All-Stars, and the 11 that missed the cut did not have an ERA lower than Harrison's 3.16 mark. Harrison is 7-0 with a 1.42 ERA in his last eight starts. The last Rangers pitcher with that low of an ERA in an eight-start stretch was Rogers, who went 8-0 with a 0.92 ERA from April 27-June 5, 2005. Craig Gentry's triple in the eighth inning of Friday's victory over the A's was the first go-ahead, three-plus-RBI knock by a Rangers hitter since Michael Young hit a grand slam in the eighth inning of a Sept. 16, 2007, win, also against the A's.
Christian Corona is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.