Twins-Rangers preview

ARLINGTON, Texas — The Texas Rangers, in dire need of effective starting pitching, will turn to veteran Kyle Lohse in Saturday's game against Minnesota.

Lohse will have his contract purchased from Triple-A Round Rock and be added to the roster on Saturday.

The right-handed Lohse is not expected to be a 37-year-old savior for the Rangers' depleted rotation, but he will be asked to bring a level of competency.

“This is a league that we need professional starts,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. “We're going to find where those professional starts are for us. This is a production league.

Nick Martinez (1-2, 6.45 ERA) was originally scheduled to start Saturday against Minnesota's Ricky Nolasco (3-7, 5.26).

But the Rangers announced after Friday night's 6-5 win over the Twins that Martinez would be optioned to Double-A Frisco and Lohse brought up.

Lohse was signed to a minor-league contract on May 14 and had been in the mix to take the place of one of the Rangers' three injured starters: Yu Darvish, Colby Lewis and Derek Holland.

Lohse is 2-5 with a 5.06 ERA in 10 games at Round Rock. However, it's his 15 years of major league experience the Rangers are counting on.

In the majors, Lohse is 147-141 with a 4.37 ERA. He's started 416 big league games for the Twins, Reds, Phillies, Cardinals and most recently the Brewers (2013-15).

“We're going to give an opportunity for Lohse to come up here and take his hand at giving us the best professional start he possibly can,” Banister said.

The Rangers also sent starter Chi Chi Gonzalez back to Triple-A Round Rock on Friday. Like the struggling Martinez, Gonzalez had another ineffective performance Thursday.

“Look, we're going to need five starters,” Banister said. “The two guys going down today, they're obviously still in that mix for us to be able to start. But obviously we've got to be better in that category. Better than we have been lately.”

The Twins' lineup showed some potency in Friday's loss. Miguel Sano hit a three-run blast and Kennys Vargas hit two doubles.

The Twins were able to send Rangers ace Cole Hamels to an early exit for the second time in a week. But they weren't able to capitalize late against a stingy Texas bullpen.

“Winnable game. We kind of beat ourselves the second half of the game,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said.

“We made Hamels work. I don't think he'll say he was as sharp as he's been the last couple starts, but you get a guy up that high in pitch count through five, you did a nice job. We got a couple big hits there, Kurt (Suzuki) put one in play and then took advantage there. Miguel (Sano) hit a first-pitch changeup, which put us on top.”

The Twins will likely be without center fielder Byron Buxton, who suffered a right knee contusion after crashing into the wall in the first inning of Friday's game. The Twins classified Buxton as day-to-day.

After the game, Buxton sounded confident that the injury is nothing more than a bone bruise. He won't know for sure until an MRI is performed Saturday.

“Pretty confident,” Buxton said. “I never want to go into thinking something negative, so keep positive thoughts and just try to get back as quick as possible and help us win some games.”