Martinez strong, Gee struggles in Triple-A

Rangers soon deciding on fifth starter for Saturday

Martinez strong, Gee struggles in Triple-A

ARLINGTON -- Right-hander Dillon Gee had a rough first start for Triple-A Round Rock on Saturday, allowing seven runs over four innings in an 8-3 loss to Nashville.

Right-hander Nick Martinez was much better on Sunday afternoon, as he threw five scoreless innings in Round Rock's 7-1 victory. Martinez allowed one hit, walked two and struck out five in his first start.

The outings come at a time when the Rangers are considering their options for a fifth starter for Saturday against the Mariners. Knuckleballer Eddie Gamboa, who starts for Round Rock on Monday, is another potential fit. All three could be on schedule to pitch Saturday.

"We have a lot of options," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said.

Cashner slams door on Royals

Andrew Cashner is also pitching Monday. He is expected to throw five innings, reaching 75-80 pitches, in an extended spring training game on Monday in Arizona. That would put him in line to pitch Saturday, but the Rangers have discussed at least one more start in extended spring.

Cashner started the season on the disabled list because of soreness in his right biceps, but he has had no setbacks as he finishes his recovery process.

Beltre not activated from DL 
Third baseman Adrian Beltre was eligible to come off the disabled list on Sunday, but the Rangers held off on the move. Beltre is sidelined with tightness in his right calf, and the Rangers have refrained from putting a timetable on his return.

Beltre went through a heavy workout on Saturday, coming out of it with only normal soreness. He took Sunday off to recover, and the Rangers are off on Monday. Beltre is traveling to Anaheim for the three-game series with the Angels that begins on Tuesday.

Banister on Beltre to DL

"Right now, it is a day-to-day process," Banister said. "No timetable has been put together. When he's ready, we'll get him in a game. We are looking at the long-term big picture, but this is a day-to-day process."

Worth noting 

• Infielder Hanser Alberto, who is on the disabled list with a sore right shoulder, is heading to Arizona to begin baseball activities in extended spring. He is not expected to be an option until the beginning of May.

Yu Darvish took the loss in Saturday's 6-1 decision against the A's, even though he allowed just one run in six innings. It's the seventh time in the past five years a Rangers starter has taken a loss despite allowing just one run in six-plus innings. Darvish has five of those losses.

• The Rangers are scheduled to face left-hander Tyler Skaggs and right-handers Jesse Chavez and Ricky Nolasco during their three-game series against the Angels. They are lined up to face right-handers Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma and left-hander James Paxton in the three-game series against the Mariners next weekend.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for 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.