ARLINGTON, Texas -- Rangers manager Ron Washington is sticking by struggling reliever Michael Kirkman.
Kirkman, whose ERA rose to 6.97 after allowing two more runs in Thursday's 9-5 victory over Arizona, has been pitching in bad luck, Washington said.
Kirkman allowed four of the six batters he faced against the Diamondbacks to reach base. He has allowed runs in 10 of his 23 appearances.
"Yesterday he got two ground balls that could have got him out of the inning, they just weren’t hit hard enough," Washington said.
Kirkman, who is out of options, has statistically not pitched well, from allowing five of his last seven inherited runners to score to his ERA, which is second worst among relievers in the American League.
Washington sounds like a manager who wants Kirkman to figured things out with the Rangers.
"There is nothing wrong with his stuff," Washington said. "I see good stuff, I just see bad luck. I see a short breaking ball and life on his fastball. He’s making good pitches, they’re just finding a way to get a bat on it. It hasn’t been because he’s not making pitches. When you’re struggling, you just get in that mode and you’ve got to fight through it.”
Other Rangers pre-game notes:
Grimm on the move: Justin Grimm's five wins lead all American League rookie pitchers. He's closing in on the major league lead. Only the Los Angeles Dodgers' Hyun-Jin Ryu with six wins has more in baseball than Grimm, who is tied for second overall in the big leagues with St. Louis' Shelby Miller.
Eye on Frisco: Right-hander Alexi Ogando makes a rehab start Friday night for Double-A Frisco. Also, infielder Mike Olt will play in a game for the first time since April. Olt has been dealing with vision issues.
Perez update: Martin Perez, who started in Monday's doubleheader in Arizona, will go for Triple-A Round Rock on Saturday.