DETROIT -- Left-hander Michael Kirkman is going into the Triple-A Round Rock rotation. Kirkman, who failed to make the Rangers' bullpen coming out of Spring Training, started for Round Rock on Friday night against the Omaha Storm Chasers.Kirkman has been struggling out of the Express bullpen. He has made five appearances in relief and allowed seven runs on 12 hits and four walks in 5 1/3 innings. The Rangers are hoping that extra work as a starter will help Kirkman straighten out his problems. "Looking at Mike's situation with not being consistent to this point, we thought by putting him into the rotation he would be able to get side work, be able to work from the windup to help his delivery with timing and rhythm," Rangers Minor League pitching coordinator Danny Clark said. "This is not long term, and he will not be stretched out over three- to five-inning stints." Kirkman, Neal Cotts and Robbie Ross competed for the left-handed spot in the Rangers' bullpen during Spring Training. Cotts had a real shot until he suffered a strained muscle in his left ribcage at the end of Spring Training. He is currently working out and receiving treatment in Arizona, but has not resumed a throwing program.
Gentry getting aggressive on basepaths
DETROIT -- Craig Gentry stole his first base on Thursday night in the second inning against the Tigers. The throw also bounced into left field, and Gentry was thrown out trying to go to third base on the play.Manager Ron Washington didn't mind. He has been encouraging Gentry to be more aggressive on the bases. "That's the way we play," Washington said. "He just misjudged whether he should have gone, but I don't want him to be tentative, I want him to get aggressive. It took us awhile to get Gentry going, we want to keep it that way. Now that he's going, he's going to make mistakes. But he'll figure it out." Gentry is 5-for-11 in two starts on Tuesday and Thursday against left-handers after an 0-for-6 start to the season. He also hit .139 in Spring Training. "I'm feeling more comfortable," Gentry said. "I'm trying to go out there and be confident in myself and my game and put another win on the board for my team. Going to third probably wasn't the smartest thing, but that's my job -- get on base and be aggressive."
Ex-Sox Beltre, Murphy chime in on Fenway party
DETROIT -- Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre, who played one year for the Red Sox, said he asked manager Ron Washington for a day off so he could fly back to Boston for the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park."Sure I asked," Beltre said at Comerica Park before Friday's game against the Tigers. "That's why I'm still here." So was David Murphy, who played 23 games for the Red Sox in 2006-07. "They didn't ask," Washington said. "If they had asked permission, I probably would have given it to them. ... We'll let them all go." Beltre and Washington were both joking. But they did have enough time to fly back to Boston for the pregame ceremonies and then get back to Detroit for their Friday night game against the Tigers. "Yeah, you going to pay for the private plane?" Beltre said. "It's a really historic ballpark. You can feel the atmosphere in the ballpark ... so much history. I enjoyed playing there." Murphy got a World Series ring out of it. He played in three games for the Red Sox in 2007, before being traded to the Rangers at the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. The Red Sox ended up winning it all, and Murphy still got the same World Series ring as Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia and others. "I'm very appreciative of that ring," Murphy said. "It's definitely awesome to have a World Series ring. I don't exactly feel I earned it. I was in the big leagues for four days and got two at-bats."
Double-A Frisco went into Friday's games leading the Texas League with a team ERA of 2.31, while Class A Myrtle Beach had a 2.74 ERA that was the lowest in the Carolina League. Young will catch the first pitch from Ivan Rodriguez during the pregame ceremonies on Monday at the Ballpark. The Rangers are honoring Rodriguez, who is officially retiring that night. The Rangers are looking at six possible sellouts for the upcoming homestand. They have 2,500 tickets remaining for Monday's game against the Yankees, 4,500 on Tuesday and 4,000 for Wednesday. For the weekend series against the Rays, they have 3,500 tickets remaining for Friday and 1,500 for Saturday and Sunday.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.