Notes: Koronka to start Saturday
Left-hander to be called up from Triple-A Oklahoma
HOUSTON -- John Koronka is going to get a one-time shot back in the Rangers' rotation.Koronka is being called up from Triple-A Oklahoma and is scheduled to start on Saturday against the Houston Astros. Since the Rangers have an off-day on Thursday, this will likely be a spot start for Koronka before going back to Triple-A. Unless he throws a no-hitter perhaps. "If he throws a no-hitter, he'll go into the record books," manager Ron Washington said. "I hope he throws a no-hitter, so he can go into the record books. But I'm not putting my expectations that high." Koronka is 3-3 with a 5.40 ERA in eight starts at Oklahoma. He had a run of four straight quality starts in which he was 3-0 with a 2.60 ERA before allowing six earned runs over four innings in a loss to Tucson in his last start. "I know he's pitched some good games but I don't know what happened in his last start," pitching coach Mark Connor said. "I haven't talked to anybody but I do know that his sinker has improved, his changeup has improved and his delivery has improved." Koronka was in the Rangers' rotation for much of last season and was third on the team with 23 starts, going 7-7 with a 5.69 ERA. He relied mainly on a straight fastball and the Rangers have had him use his sinker much more this year. "He didn't have enough fastball to be a power pitcher," Connor said. "We wanted him to incorporate his sinker and be more of the traditional finesse pitcher but with the ability to throw the occasional fastball inside." The Rangers considered right-hander Willie Eyre for the start, but that changed when he was needed in relief in the 10-inning game against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on Thursday. "We didn't want to take Willie out of the bullpen," Connor said. "He's the most durable piece we have down there." Sosa in right field: Sammy Sosa returned to right field on Friday, his first start out there since April 29 in Toronto. With the designated hitter not being used in the National League park, Sosa will have to play right field to be in the starting lineup. Washington said Sosa will start there Friday and Saturday. He'll wait and see about Sunday, which is a day game.
He said it: "When you start slumping, everybody has to figure out why. But it's not because I'm trying to hit home runs. That's not my role on this team. It's just something you go through. Nobody wants to go through it but this game is tough." -- second baseman Ian KinslerThursday's Minor stars: Top performances from the Rangers' Minor League teams on Thursday. Gold: Class A Clinton pitcher Omar Poveda pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings in a 1-0 victory over Dayton. He allowed five hits, walked two and struck out nine to raise his record to 4-0 with a 2.17 ERA. Silver: Catcher Salomon Manriquez went 3-for-4 with the game-winning double in the top of the ninth inning as Double-A Frisco defeated San Antonio, 6-5. The Roughriders trailed, 5-4, going into the ninth before rallying for the victory. Bronze: Class A Bakersfield third baseman Chris Davis went 3-for-5 with two home runs in an 8-7 loss to Lancaster. Up next: Koronka will face Astros left-hander Wandy Rodriguez at 6:05 p.m. CT on Saturday in Game 2 of the three-game Lone Star series at Minute Maid Park.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.