"Make it to the fullest. It's going to be fun, I'm excited," Gonzalez said. "We're on a run, what, [three] games behind [in the American League Wild Card]? It's important; every game's going to count for us and we're going to try to do the best we can."
The Rangers had kept an eye on Gonzalez since mid-July, once the 33-year-old returned from a month-long stint on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation. In his nine starts since, Gonzalez is 3-2 with a 3.11 ERA, including an Aug. 20 outing against his new team, where he held the Rangers scoreless over six innings of work.
"He's throwing really well the last two months. Veteran starter," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "... He's pitched in pennant races before. I was glad we don't have to face him because he always seems to shut us down. Really highly regarded makeup, teammate, gives us a veteran, rotation-stabilizing presence."
Gonzalez looks to be on track to start Tuesday, but Rangers manager Jeff Banister was holding off on making anything official until they got him through his throwing program.
DeShields' speed pays off
Brandon Phillips, making his Angels debut on Friday night, was given a warm welcome to the American League. Delino DeShields hit a hard, but routine, grounder to him at second base to lead off the home half of the first. That's a pretty common situation for a hitter to jog down the basepath, resigning himself to his own fate.
But DeShields dropped his bat and broke into a dead sprint and it appeared to take Phillips by surprise, as the throw wasn't in time and DeShields was safe. It led to the Rangers erasing an early 2-0 deficit. Those are the types of plays that can come from having DeShields at the top of the lineup.
And when DeShields gets on base to lead off an inning, the threat of his baserunning ability can cause problems for the pitcher.
"You have a chance to not be as consistent, you may not create as much angle," Banister said. "The fastball may come up, the breaking ball may not be as sharp. There's some guys, their anxiety level raises when there's traffic. And you put traffic with speed, you put a Formula 1 car on first base? There are a lot of things that go on."
• Tyson Ross was recently moved from the starting rotation to a bullpen role. Banister said he'd lean more toward using him in a long-man role, similar to how Austin Bibens-Dirkx is used.
• Willie Calhoun, who was acquired from the Dodgers in the Yu Darvish trade, was named to the Pacific Coast League's season-ending All-Star team at second base.
• Joey Gallo has homered in two of four games since returning from the disabled list, giving him an AL-best 16 since the All-Star break. After Friday's game, Gallo is tied with Aaron Judge for the most homers in the AL with 37.
• Darvish made a $100,000 donation through the Rangers' fundraising efforts for Hurricane Harvey relief. The money will go to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund through the Greater Houston Community Foundation as part of the Rangers' overall donation.
Sam Butler is a reporter for MLB.com based in Texas. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.