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07/04/07 9:12 PM ET

Notes: Padilla works toward return

Team aims to send pitcher to Double-A Frisco by July 12

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have set a schedule for pitcher Vicente Padilla, who was put on the disabled list on June 25 with triceps inflammation behind his right elbow. On Tuesday and Wednesday, Padilla threw pitches off flat ground with no problems.

Pitching coach Mark Connor said Padilla with have Thursday off. Then, Padilla will throw a light bullpen session on Friday, a regular bullpen session on Sunday and start on a medical rehabilitation assignment at Double-A Frisco on July 12.

"Depending on what I see in the bullpen Sunday, [that] will dictate what he does in Frisco," Connor said.

Padilla is scheduled to make at least two starts in the Minor Leagues before rejoining the team. He was 3-8 with a 6.69 ERA in 15 starts with the Rangers when he went on the disabled list.

Otsuka update: Akinori Otsuka will be unavailable Wednesday, but could be ready as early as Thursday. With Kevin Millwood throwing eight innings on Tuesday, Connor said the team was flexible to give Otsuka another day to rest.

"It's not a life and death situation, so to speak," Connor said. "To be on the safe side, we're giving him another day. We might be able to use him [Thursday]."

Before Wednesday's game against the Angels, Otsuka said he still had some discomfort in his right forearm area, which he first felt on Sunday at Boston.

"It's getting better day-by-day," Otsuka said. "The muscle sore is too much [to pitch Wednesday]."

Howe ejected: Bench coach Art Howe was ejected in the eighth inning during Tuesday's game, the first time a Rangers coach or player has been ejected this season.

Howe argued with home plate umpire John Hirschbeck about a passed ball by Gerald Laird when Angels outfielder Reggie Willits was up. The passed ball allowed Howie Kendrick to advance to third base.

"From our vantage point it looked like he bunted at the ball," Howe explained. "I came in and saw the replay and it showed he didn't bunt at the ball. But, at the same time, we thought he might have even foul tipped it."

After being ejected, a livid Howe confronted Hirschbeck.

"I just got my two cents worth," he said. "You got to at least put your beef up, and let them know what you're thinking."

Manager Ron Washington went out to the field thinking he was tossed.

"[Howe] was questioning the call, but I went out there and just listened to see how you argue with an umpire," Washington, who has yet to be ejected in his first year, joked.

"I don't want to get tossed. When I go to argue, I say what I have to say. When they don't throw me out, that told me right there I was right."

He said it: "It's something you never expect. Just try to hit the ball hard. I got like 27 text messages [since the game], just a lot of support from friends. A lot of people that care." -- Brad Wilkerson on Wednesday, after hitting three home runs Tuesday

Briefly: Jerry Hairston started at second base on Wednesday and will get the bulk of the duty there with Ian Kinsler on the disabled list. ... Marlon Byrd continues to carry a hot bat, as has hit safely in 11 of the last 12 games. He is hitting .391 with two home runs and 11 RBIs. ... Rangers PA announcer Chuck Morgan's son, Kelly Gulledge, was named as to the American Association All-Star team. Gulledge is a catcher with the Fort Worth Cats. ... Oklahoma right-hander Francisco Cruceta came off the suspended list. ... Left-hander Dan Hoben has been transferred from Class A Spokane to the Arizona Rookie League Rangers.

Tuesday's Minor League stars:
Gold: Triple-A Oklahoma had four home runs in a six-run first inning to defeat Omaha, 8-2. Outfielder Jason Botts went 2-for-5 with a home run, and extended his hitting streak to 16 games.

Silver: Second baseman David Peterson went 4-for-5 as Class A Bakersfield lost to Visalia, 12-11. It was Peterson's fourth multi-hit game with the Blaze.

Bronze: Arizona Rookie League pitcher Geuris Grullon threw 2 1/3 relief innings giving up no hits or runs. However, the Arizona Rangers fell to the Arizona Cubs, 11-3.

Up next: The Rangers and the Angels wrap-up the series finale on Thursday at 7:35 p.m. CT at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Right-hander Robinson Tejeda takes the mound for the Rangers against right-hander Kelvim Escobar of the Angels.

Drew Davison is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.