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Friday, August 22, 2014
Pregame notes: Holland aching to return

By Calvin Watkins

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers left-handed starter Derek Holland will throw his final rehab session Sunday for Triple-A Round Rock in Las Vegas.

Holland is working his way back from left knee surgery and has not pitched for the Rangers this season. He's made five rehab starts between Round Rock and Double-A Frisco, throwing 14 2/3 innings and allowing seven earned runs with eight walks and 22 strikeouts.

"I'm excited and I want to be back and competing with these guys," said Holland, who is eligible to return next Friday. "I don't care how bad we're doing or how good we're doing. I want to be part of that team."

In his last rehab outing Tuesday for Round Rock, Holland threw five innings and allowed two earned runs on seven hits with three walks and seven strikeouts.

"To me it's one of my best [starts], even though the stats might not be what I wanted," Holland said. "I'm just working on stuff. It's like spring training. I don't get caught up in results, there's no need to do that."

Pitching plans: Long reliever/starter Scott Baker is tentatively scheduled to pitch Sunday against the Royals. Baker (1-3, 5.75 ERA) earned his first victory of the season Aug. 12 against Tampa Bay. That victory ended a 0-20 spell for the Rangers in games that Baker has pitched in with the club. In his last seven relief appearances, Baker has a 2.08 ERA.

Nick Tepesch is scheduled to pitch Saturday night against the Royals. The Rangers could have moved Miles Mikolas to Sunday, but the team wants him to go Monday when they visit Seattle.

"If this weekend goes pretty good, we got Baker [for Sunday]," manager Ron Washington said. "If we have to use Baker [in relief beforehand], we have to make an adjustment."

Could the Rangers make a surprise move and skip Holland's start in Vegas and move him to Sunday?

"Right now, he's pitching in Las Vegas," Washington said. "We'll see how we'll get through the next two days against the Royals and we'll know who will be pitching Sunday."

Odor gets day off: Second baseman Rougned Odor was given Friday night off, his first break since Aug. 10 at Houston. Odor has just five hits in his last 26 at-bats to see his average fall to .255.

"You could see he's a little tired," said Washington, who added that he wanted to "give him a couple of days" off.

Odor is tied for second among American League rookies and tied for eighth overall in the AL with five triples. It's the most triples by a Rangers rookie since Elvis Andrus had eight in 2009.