The Rangers and Orioles are hoping for second-half surges, as both are well within range of playoff spots. Both could be active in the trade market, but the Orioles added to their team internally Friday, when they selected Henry Urrutia's contract.
Urrutia, a DH/outfielder from Cuba, has hit well this season between Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk. It looked like he would likely be a September callup, but now the Orioles are hoping his bat can give them a boost in July. He's expected to debut Saturday at DH.
"He's handled himself well against left-handed and right-handed pitching at the Double-A and Triple-A level, but we'll see," manager Buck Showalter said. "I plan on him playing starting [Saturday]. I'm not going to say he's strictly going to be a DH, but that's probably where he's going to be [Saturday]."
"He's handled everything we've thrown at him. As you know I have a lot of confidence in the people who evaluate players down there, and they felt he could help us, so let's give it a roll".
Miguel Gonzalez will pitch for the Orioles, and he gave the Rangers fits just before the All-Star break the last time he took the mound. The right-hander allowed just one earned run on four hits over 6 2/3 innings to beat the Rangers in Baltimore.
Rangers manager Ron Washington said his team just couldn't break through when it had the chance against Gonzalez.
"When we get opportunities to score runs, we've got to score runs. We had him on the ropes last time," Washington said. "He did well, but it's not like we didn't have any chances. We had an opportunity to put a nail in his coffin and didn't finish. We have to take advantage of our opportunities, because he's a good pitcher."
The Rangers will counter with Ross Wolf, who replaces Justin Grimm in the rotation and also pitched opposite Gonzalez in that July 11 game. He allowed two runs in six innings, but took a loss in his second start of the season.
Rangers: Starters searching for second-half health
The Rangers struggled to keep their starting rotation healthy in the first half of the season. Their second-half fortunes may be closely tied with keeping the starting staff on the mound.
Wolf will pitch Saturday, but he may not remain there much longer.
The Rangers have been repeatedly linked to the Cubs for a trade for Matt Garza, but Wolf said he isn't concerning himself with that.
"Only time can tell," Wolf said. "I just go out there and do what I can, which is throw strikes and compete. Just give me the baseball and I will give it all I got."
Orioles: Reimold likely done for the year
Nolan Reimold went on the disabled list Friday with a lingering injury from last season, and surgery Tuesday will once again cut short his campaign,
The outfielder had a spinal fusion procedure last June, and will undergo corrective surgery for it Tuesday at the Florida Spine Institute. The Orioles placed him on the 15-day disabled list with nerve inflammation in the cervical spine, but he will be transferred to the 60-day DL the next time the team needs a 40-man-roster spot.
Reimold hit just .195/.250/.336 in 40 games this season, and manager Buck Showalter said he "could tell the last couple games something just wasn't firing."
"Did he overdo it?" Showalter said. "I bet he did, because that's Nolan -- the same reason why you like him."
• Orioles hitters have gone just 4-for-24 against Wolf, including home runs by Chris Davis and Brian Roberts.
• The two teams split a four-game set in the penultimate series before the break. The Rangers took the first two games, scoring eight runs in each, but scored only one run in each of the last two games as the Orioles evened the series.
Derek Wetmore is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.