Alex Rios will make his Rangers debut Saturday in the second of a four-game series with the Astros at Minute Maid Park. Rios will start in right field and bat sixth in the lineup. Texas acquired the outfielder and cash considerations Friday from the White Sox for a player to be named later or cash considerations.
Rios, 32, had a .277/.328/.421 slash line with 12 home runs, 55 RBIs and 26 stolen bases in 109 games with the White Sox this season.
"All we want him to do is come in and play baseball," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He certainly doesn't need to come in here and think it's all on his shoulders. It's on all 25 guys, and he is just one of them. All he needs to do is what Alex Rios does. He is certainly a good player."
The outfielder has a .308 (24-78) batting average with a home run and 15 RBIs since the All-Star break and is on a nine-game hitting streak. While he's hitting the ball well, Washington likes Rios' defensive abilities in right field. He has eight outfield assists this season, which was tied for fifth most in the American League entering Friday.
"He's complete," Washington said. "We've had good defense in right field with Nelson Cruz out there and Leonys Martin out there. Without Cruz here, we have a complete player. So he just needs to play baseball, play at the level he plays at and just add to what we already have here."
Rios and the Texas lineup will face Brad Peacock, who will make his second start since his return to the rotation. The right-hander was called up for the third time this season last Sunday against the Twins, setting career highs in innings pitched (seven) and strikeouts (10) in the loss.
"Peacock did a tremendous job of pounding the zone," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "His breaking ball was outstanding. It was unfortunate the two long balls ended up being the difference in the game. I thought he competed and did a great job.
"He pitched with his fastball at the bottom of the zone. Early in the year, his fastball was more in the top of the zone. I thought he moved the ball in and out really well and threw some good breaking balls to put guys away."
Peacock is 1-4 with a 7.25 ERA this season in 10 games (six starts). He has allowed 10 home runs and opponents are batting .264 against him. Peacock will face off against Derek Holland, who has posted a quality start in seven of his last eight starts. The southpaw is 4-2 with a 2.33 ERA in that stretch. Holland pitched eight scoreless innings with 10 strikeouts against the A's last Sunday.
Astros: Villar's thumb improving
Jonathan Villar was held out of Friday's game due to a sprained left thumb. The shortstop felt he could play through the injury, but the Astros didn't want to take that risk. Villar is expected to return during the weekend.
Rangers: Berkman to begin rehab assignment
Lance Berkman will begin his rehab assignment on Saturday with Triple-A Round Rock. He didn't experience any issues during his workout before Friday's game in Houston. The designated hitter has been on the disabled list since July with left hip inflammation.
• The Rangers lead the all-time series at Minute Maid Park 27-16. It's the third-best winning percentage (.627) at the park.
• The Astros' Jason Castro hit a home run in Friday's game. He's hitting .270 (20-74) with two home runs and 13 RBIs since the All-Star break.
Master Tesfatsion is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.