08/18/08 1:28 AM ET
Ninth inning nearly nets victory in finale
Late rally dashed with bases loaded; Nippert handed loss
By Shawn Shroyer / MLB.com
With Texas in need of a fifth starter -- especially after Nippert's rough outing -- McCarthy is one of the Rangers' most viable options to enter the rotation. So, while Nippert became the 14th different pitcher to start for Texas this season, McCarthy could soon be No. 15.In five starts at Triple-A Oklahoma, McCarthy has struck out 23 in 26 2/3 innings while posting a 3.38 ERA. Since throwing a side session on Aug. 7 at Rangers Ballpark with team president Nolan Ryan, pitching coach Andy Hawkins and bullpen coach Jim Colborn, McCarthy has thrown 13 straight innings of shutout ball and posted 11 strikeouts and just two walks. But before Texas can worry about any additions to its roster, it must first deal with a couple of subtractions from Sunday's starting lineup. Milton Bradley was a late scratch from the starting lineup with a stiff back. Washington said he was able to take some swings, but he didn't want to start Bradley in case his back acted up midway through the game. Ian Kinsler left after the seventh inning, when he aggravated his left groin. Kinsler first tweaked his groin in the first inning making a play on a ground ball his way, but he stayed in until reaggravating it when he grounded out to third base in the seventh. "It was just the play in the first inning when it just grabbed on me," Kinsler said. "Then that last ground ball on [Chad] Bradford, it grabbed pretty good, so I had to come out." Washington said Kinsler was day-to-day, and Kinsler said he would have the groin checked out Monday. Regardless of who was in the lineup, Kazmir was hardly touched. In six innings, Kazmir recorded seven strikeouts, picked up almost exclusively on Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Chris Davis. Saltalamacchia, who took Bradley's spot in the lineup, struck out twice and lowered his average against left-handers to .162. Davis, meanwhile, struck out looking three times as Kazmir painted the corners. "I didn't think Kazmir had his best stuff, [but] we just couldn't get to him," Washington said. "Even though Kazmir didn't have his best stuff, he was able to keep us off the scoreboard."
Shawn Shroyer is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.