Lewis set to throw off mound Wednesday

Holland progressing toward return; Claudio continuing to impress

Lewis set to throw off mound Wednesday

DENVER -- Rangers pitcher Colby Lewis, on the 60-day disabled list because of a torn muscle in the back of his right shoulder, is scheduled to throw off a mound for the first time on Wednesday.

The Rangers may limit Lewis to just a half-mound session, but it's still a significant step as he works his way back to the rotation.

"It looks like I am finally getting to the point where I can get off the mound and start moving forward," Lewis said. "When you're just playing catch, it feels like it takes forever to just get through it."

That's the nature of a torn lat muscle, said pitching coach Doug Brocail.

"That tear was fairly significant," Brocail said. "Usually it shrinks right away, but that last little bit seems to take forever. It's like a sliver on my fingernail."

After Wednesday's session, Lewis will undergo an MRI to see how the muscle responds. If all looks good, he will be able to ramp up his throwing sessions with an eye toward returning to the rotation by September.

Lewis was 6-1 with a 3.21 ERA before suffering the muscle tear in a June 21 start against the Reds.

Lewis is trailing Derek Holland in the recovery process. Holland, who is also on the DL because of shoulder inflammation, is scheduled to throw 45-50 pitches in his second rehab start for Triple-A Round Rock on Wednesday. He will also throw an additional 20 pitches in the bullpen after that.

Holland will pitch Wednesday and again on Monday. After that, he will be re-evaluated with the possibility of being activated. He is eligible to come off the DL on Aug. 20.

Claudio sticking it through

Lost in the Rangers' exhilarating 4-3 comeback victory on Monday night was the scoreless inning thrown by left-handed reliever Alex Claudio. It was Claudio's first appearance since July 29, but he has pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings over his last six games and has not allowed an earned run in eight games since being recalled on July 8.

"It's the same thing -- throw the ball and get outs whether we are winning or losing," Claudio said. "That's my job."

Claudio has been sent to the Minors four times this year, but now he has a chance to stick around to the end. A significant moment came when the Rangers optioned left-hander Dario Alvarez to the Minors last week.

Alvarez's fastball averages 93 mph, while Claudio's averages 85. Claudio makes up for it with a deceptive delivery, but it was an extremely rare move for the Rangers to go with finesse over power.

Rangers beat

• The Rangers' victory on Monday was their 34th come-from-behind win, the most in the Majors.

• With his two hits on Monday, Adrian Beltre now has 2,880 for his career. That's tied with Hall of Famer Frankie Frisch for 40th all time.

Cole Hamels allowed two runs in six innings on Monday. He has five straight quality starts at Coors Field, the ultimate hitter-friendly park. That's the second-longest streak ever. Dan Haren had six such starts.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.