Kinsler remains sidelined; Francisco close

* Second baseman Ian Kinsler was out of the lineup on Saturday for the fourth straight night with a strained left hamstring. Kinsler is still hopeful that he’ll will be in the lineup on Sunday and the Rangers have no plans to put him on the disabled list.

He said his hamstring is feeling better but that he just needs to wait for it to heal.

Manager Ron Washington did say that Kinsler will see occasional time at designated hitter in the second half to reduce wear-and-tear and fatigue.

“He plays hard…stealing bases, leading the team in runs scored,” Washington said. “He has been busy. Even when he struggles, he has been busy.”

* The Rangers had good reports on Frank Francisco’s one inning of work on medical rehabilitation assignment for Double A Frisco on Friday. He is close to being activated off the disabled list but it’s unlikely that he’ll immediately return to the role of closer. Washington plans to ease him back.

“I don’t think you’ll see him jump back into the closer’s role,” Washington said. “How can he jump back in, he’s been out…21 days.”

* The Rangers have flipped Scott Feldman and Kevin Millwood. Feldman will pitch Sunday on three days rest and Millwood has been pushed back to Monday. This will be the third time ever that Feldman has pitched on three days but he threw just 71 pitches in his last start on Wednesday against the Tigers.

“We wanted Feldman and he said he can do it,” Washington said.

Millwood, who has a strained left gluteus muscle, is now scheduled for Monday but that is still tentative. Dustin Nippert would likely start if Millwood can’t go.


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