TEX@TOR: Baker bashes a solo shot to deep left field

BALTIMORE -- The Rangers have a chance of getting outfielder Craig Gentry and infielder Jeff Baker off the disabled list soon after the All-Star break.

Gentry, who is sidelined with a fractured left hand, has been taking batting practice here in Baltimore, and the tentative plan is to begin a medical rehabilitation assignment with Double-A Frisco on Sunday. That would give him four games before the Rangers open the second half next Thursday against the Orioles at the Ballpark in Arlington.

"It's still a little achy, but definitely nothing I can't push through," Gentry said. "It can't get any worse. It doesn't really bother me and keeps getting better every day."

Baker, who is sidelined with a sprained right thumb, began taking full batting practice on Thursday. The Rangers don't have a definitive date on when he'll begin a medical rehab assignment, but it could be as early as Monday. Baker probably won't be ready right at the start of the second half on Thursday, but it should be shortly after that.

"Once you start hitting, you have to see how it feels tomorrow," Baker said. "If it doesn't bother me taking batting practice, it should move pretty quickly."

Baker was hitting .317 with nine home runs and 16 RBIs in 37 games before being placed on the disabled list on June 13. Gentry, who had been platooning with Leonys Martin in center field, was hitting .216 in 51 games, and he is still third on the team with eight stolen bases.

Rangers not concerned with Darvish's injury

CIN@TEX: Darvish strikes out eight over 6 2/3 innings

BALTIMORE -- Yu Darvish was examined by Dr. Keith Meister in Texas on Thursday, and the results showed nothing out of the ordinary in the right trapezius muscle. The Rangers feel Darvish is dealing simply with fatigue in the muscle and nothing more. Darvish did not even undergo an MRI.

The plan is for Darvish to rejoin the Rangers in Detroit this weekend and begin a throwing program. He was officially placed on the disabled list Thursday, retroactive to last Saturday. That means he's eligible to come off the DL on July 22, and the Rangers expect him to pitch that night against the Yankees at the Ballpark in Arlington.

"This was the best news we could have gotten," Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine said.

Darvish last pitched on Saturday against the Astros and was scheduled to pitch on Thursday against the Orioles. He was scratched instead, and long reliever Ross Wolf took his spot.

"He's going to be ready after the break, we just needed to give him some time," manager Ron Washington said. "We did the right thing for Yu Darvish and the Texas Rangers. He'll be back as scheduled. As a matter of fact, he said he could pitch, but we weren't going to let that happen."

The Rangers are also hoping Alexi Ogando will be ready to rejoin the rotation after the All-Star break. Ogando, who is on the disabled list with inflammation in his right shoulder, is scheduled to make his second start on a medical rehabilitation assignment for Triple-A Round Rock on Thursday night.

Ogando will likely start again on Tuesday for Double-A Frisco. By then, he should have his pitch count up to 75-80 pitches. The Rangers will decide after that if he needs another start in the Minor Leagues or if he is ready to return to the rotation.

Font, Ortiz recalled; Lindblom optioned to Triple-A

TEX@OAK: Ortiz throws two shutout innings of relief

BALTIMORE -- The Rangers called up right-handed pitcher Wilmer Font and left-hander Joseph Ortiz on Thursday. They replace Yu Darvish, who was placed on the disabled list, and Josh Lindblom, who was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock.

Lindblom was optioned because he started on Wednesday night and won't be able to pitch again before the All-Star break. This gives the Rangers nine relievers in their bullpen for the final four games before the break. The Rangers wanted the extra reliever with Ross Wolf making a spot start on Thursday night against the Orioles.

"I understand the situation," said Lindblom, who threw 119 pitches on Wednesday. "With Yu being out, me not being able to throw and not knowing how deep Wolf will be able to go, it's part of the game. This is nothing to hang your head about."

This will be Ortiz's third tour with the Rangers. So far, he is 2-1 with a 5.08 ERA in 22 appearances. Font, the Rangers' No. 5 prospect, pitched in three games for Texas last September, but this is his first time up to the big leagues this season. He is 2-2 with a 1.27 ERA and 11 saves over 30 combined appearances for Double-A Frisco and Round Rock this season.

"The more we've put him out there, the more he's hit the strike zone consistently," manager Ron Washington said. "He just has to learn how to pitch. He's got good stuff, it's just a matter of learning how to mix it."

Strained groin forces prospect Gallo out of Futures Game

TEX@CHC: Gallo drills a solo shot to right in sixth

BALTIMORE -- Class A Hickory infielder Joey Gallo has been pulled out of Sunday's All-Star Futures Game at Citi Field because of a strained groin muscle.

Gallo, the team's No. 7 prospect, is hitting .225 with 26 home runs and 54 RBIs in 83 games for Hickory, but he hasn't played since Sunday because of his injury. He was supposed to be on the United States team for Sunday's game.

"The prognosis is we're hoping he'll be ready to go within a week or two, but right now he has been pulled from the Futures Game," assistant general manager Thad Levine said.

The Rangers could be without a representative in the Futures Game. Catcher Jorge Alfaro, the organization's sixth-best prospect, has already been pulled from the game with a broken hand.

"We look at the Futures Game as a tremendous game for high-level prospects to showcase their talents," Levine said. "We're disappointed our prospects won't get the opportunity, but it doesn't diminish their value. We wish they had the opportunity to showcase their talents, but we need to get our guys healthy."

Class A Hickory second baseman Ryan Rua would be a good candidate to replace Gallo. He has 28 home runs, the most of any player in the Minor Leagues.

Worth noting

• Nelson Cruz and Adrian Beltre both have at least 20 home runs and 50 RBIs. The only other pair of teammates that have done that are Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion of the Blue Jays.

• Ian Kinsler had hit in 14 straight games against the Orioles before going 0-for-3 on Wednesday night. Kinsler made his third start at designated hitter on Thursday.

• With the Rangers playing a night game on Thursday, right-hander Justin Grimm flew ahead of the team to Detroit. Grimm pitches on Friday.