Rangers' rotation struggling ahead of Deadline

Rangers' rotation struggling ahead of Deadline

ARLINGTON -- Rangers right-hander Nick Martinez's rough outing in the team's 6-3 loss to the A's on Tuesday night was just another in a long string of tough outings for the rotation in July.

Martinez cruised through three innings, facing the minimum, but allowed three home runs before being lifted with no outs in the fifth.

"I felt the same all four innings, just a couple mistakes there that they capitalized on. I think that was the biggest thing," he said.

Cole Hamels is the only starting pitcher who has recorded a win since June 26, and the staff has a 7.43 ERA over its last 20 games. They've been without left-hander Derek Holland and Colby Lewis since the end of June, and right-hander Yu Darvish is scheduled to make just his sixth start of the season Wednesday.

Perez was the last starter other than Hamels to pick up a win. He had been solid up until July, but has a 7.53 ERA in five starts this month.

General manager Jon Daniels has reiterated that pitching will be the team's focus with the Aug. 1 non-waiver Trade Deadline nearing. Some starting-pitching possibilities on the market include Matt Moore, Chris Archer and Jake Odorizzi from the Rays; Phillies right-hander Jeremy Hellickson; Padres right-hander Andrew Cashner; Reds righty Anthony DeSclafani; and A's lefty Rich Hill.

Rangers special assistant to the general manager Greg Smith was on hand in Los Angeles on Tuesday to watch Archer take on the Dodgers. Moore is scheduled to start there Wednesday.

"It's way too early to speculate on any of that," said Rangers manager Jeff Banister on the landscape of the team's rotation.

Internally, the Rangers have tried Martinez, along with right-handers Chi Chi Gonzalez and Kyle Lohse, but have found little success.

Gonzalez was optioned back to Triple-A Round Rock after posting an 8.71 ERA through three starts. Lohse was designated for assignment before Tuesday's game to make room on the roster for Martinez.

"We always continue to evaluate and look at what our options are," Banister said.

The team called up infielder Joey Gallo, one of the team's biggest trade chips, before Tuesday's game to add some left-handed power to the lineup. He's done his best to block out the flurry of rumors.

"I'm kind of staying away from that," he said. "I don't even know which teams are interested, or who we're going after. I'm just going to field and playing every day."

Ryan Posner is a reporter for MLB.com based in Texas. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.