ARLINGTON -- After sustaining a right ankle injury Friday and aggravating it Saturday, Rangers outfielder Craig Gentry may miss the next few games.Gentry twisted his ankle running to first base after laying down a bunt in the fifth inning of the Rangers' 4-1 win over the Rockies on Friday. He started Saturday but left the game, replaced by Brandon Snyder in center field in the fourth inning. He popped out to the shortstop in his only at-bat following a 1-for-3 performance Friday. "The swelling's still there. It definitely feels a lot better today," Gentry said. "Speed's my game and I didn't know if I was going to be able to run down balls in the outfield or even perform well at the plate. Ultimately, I didn't want to hurt the team. I want to give us the best possible chance of winning and I wasn't even close to 80 or 70 percent yesterday." With right-hander Alex White starting for the Rockies on Sunday, Gentry would not have started anyway. Leonys Martin, who was called up from Triple-A Round Rock on June 15, made his third start of the season in center field and batted ninth. "I'm available as far as I know," Gentry said. "The swelling's still there. I told the trainers I feel better and we'll just go from there. I definitely feel a lot better." Manager Ron Washington said that he would like to give Gentry a few days off. With right-hander Rick Porcello set to start for the Tigers on Monday, the soonest the Rangers would face a left-handed starter would be Tuesday, should Detroit's Drew Smyly return from a blister. Gentry is batting .452 over his last 18 games, raising his average to .345, the second-highest among American League hitters with at least 100 at-bats, behind only Paul Konerko. "That's kind of why I tried to tough it out yesterday, but, ultimately, I was no good for the team," Gentry said."
Hamilton looks to break out of mini slump
ARLINGTON -- Friday and Saturday were really bad days for Josh Hamilton. He was 0-for-8 with seven strikeouts. What's wrong?Lack of patience, manager Ron Washington said. Lack of timing, hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh said. "Give me a day or two and then I'll talk about it," Hamilton said Sunday before the Rangers' game with the Rockies. "Just keep your eyes open and watch. That's all you need to know. Plain and simple as it gets. You'll see some changes, but I'm not ready to talk about them right now." Maybe he knows something. Hamilton was 0-for-8 with seven strikeouts in two games against Toronto on May 15-16, 2010. He followed that up with three straight two-hit games and was 23-for-61 (.377) with three home runs in seven straight games. He ended up being the American League Most Valuable Player that season. "It all goes back to patience," Washington said. "Show a little patience and that will change. That doesn't mean stop swinging the bat, just swing at strikes. It's all about patience because he has been swinging at a whole heckuva lot outside the strike zone." Hamilton was hitting .368 with 21 home runs and 57 RBIs in 47 games at the end of May. He had a .420 on-base percentage and a .764 slugging percentage. In his first 18 games this month, Hamilton hit .197 with one home run and seven RBIs. He had a .267 on-base percentage and a .353 slugging percentage. "He's had periods like this before," Coolbaugh said. "We talked about it in Spring Training, if we could keep the same consistency all year, that's our biggest challenge. No matter what happens in your last at-bat, don't let it carry over. It's a 162-game grind and he's still at the part of his career where he is learning that. "His timing is off. You start to swing too quickly, everything is sped up and you're not giving yourself a chance to see the ball." Hamilton promptly singled on the second pitch he saw in the first inning Sunday night and finished 1-for-4 with a walk and a strikeout in the Rangers' 4-2 victory.
Holland ready for a rehab start
ARLINGTON -- Derek Holland, who has been on the disabled list since June 6 because of a stomach virus, said he is ready to go out on a medical rehabilitation assignment. Holland made that pronouncement after throwing 48 pitches off the mound in another bullpen session on Sunday afternoon."The bullpen was amazing, I felt really good," Holland said. "I gave it game speed, I gave it everything I had. I think I'm ready to go. It's just a matter of what they think." The Rangers haven't decided yet but Holland will likely go to Triple-A Round Rock sometime at the end of this week to pitch. The Express open a seven-game homestand on Wednesday. It is still unknown how much longer Holland will be sidelined. Right now, rookie right-hander Justin Grimm is holding down that spot in the rotation and will start on Monday against the Tigers. The Rangers also expect Grimm to start on Saturday against Oakland. That would leave Grimm with one more start before the All-Star break during a three-game series against the Twins on July 6-8. The Rangers aren't sure if Holland will be ready by that point or will need to wait until after the All-Star break.
The Rangers agreed to terms with 19th-round pick, USC-Sumter right-handed pitcher Tyler Smith, and 31st-round pick Mark Morris, a high-school left-handed pitcher from Washington. They have signed 31 of the 43 players they selected in this year's First-Year Player Draft, including each of their first 16 picks. With a sellout Sunday, the Rangers would record their 22nd home sellout of the season, breaking the team record of 21 set in 1994. Adrian Beltre went 3-for-5 in Saturday's loss to the Rockies, recording his sixth straight multi-hit game at home, the longest such streak since Michael Young accomplished the feat in 2009. Beltre's .323 career batting average at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington is the fifth-best in team history. The Rangers did not issue a walk Saturday for the 12th time this season, the most in the Major Leagues and seven shy of the team record (19) set in 1974. It also marked the first time in 11 years that the Rangers gave up at least 17 hits without walking a batter. The Rangers observed a moment of silence for Padres bullpen coach Darrel Akersfeld, who passed away on Sunday. Akersfeld pitched in six games for the Rangers in 1989.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. Christian Corona is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.