Right-hander Tyson Ross, in Oakland's rotation for the foreseeable future with starters Bartolo Colon and Brandon McCarthy on the DL, will make his 12th start of the season on Thursday. He lost his last outing on Saturday, giving up three earned runs in 5 1/3 innings against the Giants. Ross was sent to the Minors on May 31 to work on several aspects of his game, but has been brought back up out of need. Melvin has said he's seen improvement in the right-hander in his two most recent outings. Colon, who's been on the DL since June 17 with a right oblique strain, is scheduled to throw a bullpen on Thursday. Though it was thought the right-hander would have to miss an extended period of time, his rehab has gone better than expected, and Melvin said Colon could make a start before the All-Star break. Meanwhile, left-hander Brett Anderson threw a 30-pitch bullpen consisting of fastballs and changeups on Wednesday, another step forward in his rehab from Tommy John surgery. Rangers: Looking to improve within division
Texas entered Thursday a season-high 18 games above .500 after defeating the Tigers on Wednesday night. But if there's one area the Rangers have scuffled this season, it's division play -- they're just 10-12 against AL West foes. "You don't have to beat the teams in your division but it's definitely important," second baseman Ian Kinsler said. "It obviously sets the tone with those teams. It's definitely important. It's necessary to win the division. We'd like to play well against those teams." Rookie left-hander Martin Perez, Texas' No. 2 prospect, has assumed the long-relief role that Feldman had before he was forced back into the rotation. Perez, who made his Major League debut on Wednesday with two-thirds of an inning in relief, is a candidate to start Saturday's game against the A's. Derek Holland made his first rehab start on Wednesday, pitching three innings for Triple-A Round Rock and allowing one run. The left-hander, who's been on the DL since June 7 with left elbow fatigue, will make at least one more rehab appearance on Monday before possibly being activated. Worth noting
Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton enters Thursday leading the Major Leagues with 67 RBIs, and is one off the lead with 24 home runs. Hamilton is 5-for-22 against Oakland this season. Over the last 13 games, A's starters have allowed just 16 earned runs in 83 1/3 innings, good for a 1.73 ERA. Tickets remain available for each of the four games of the series. There are 10,000 reserved seats available for Thursday, 1,500 for Friday, 1,700 for Saturday and 4,500 for Sunday.