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Banister praises Colon as vet eyes milestone

Righty will go for Latin American wins record Friday; Martin back to DL; Beltre returns to lineup
MLB.com

DETROIT -- When Bartolo Colon takes the mound at Comerica Park on Friday against the Tigers, he'll be going for his 246th win, which would make him the winningest Major League pitcher from Latin America.

"I think the best part of it is our team," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said of Colon's journey. "The guys who have rallied around him, everybody wanting him to get to this point and get to the record and hold it alone."

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DETROIT -- When Bartolo Colon takes the mound at Comerica Park on Friday against the Tigers, he'll be going for his 246th win, which would make him the winningest Major League pitcher from Latin America.

"I think the best part of it is our team," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said of Colon's journey. "The guys who have rallied around him, everybody wanting him to get to this point and get to the record and hold it alone."

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Colon won his last start on Saturday against the White Sox to tie him with Dennis Martinez. Colon (5-5) has a 4.76 ERA in 17 games, including 15 starts.

Banister said he appreciates the humility of Colon, who struggled in June with a 7.36 ERA.

"When I go out and take him out, he's thanking me for letting him continue to pitch at certain times," Banister said.

When asked what it would be like for him personally to be part of Colon making history, Banister had to take a pause before answering.

"Baseball affords us these moments that we get to celebrate and cherish and share," Banister said of that win, whether it comes Friday or later. "To watch it and be right there and shake his hand, obviously there's an emotional side of it, there's the professional side of it, then the human side. I love that the most, that we get to share that."

Banister saw Colon in 1995 when Colon was pitching for the Indians' Class A Advanced affiliate. In those days, Colon was throwing 95-mph heaters by batters. He's had to adapt his pitching style through 21 years at the Major League level, and Banister said that evolution has been one of the more fascinating parts of Colon nearing this milestone.

"To have a front-row seat and to uniform up with him, to be a teammate with him, to be his manager, is obviously one of the highlights of my baseball life," Banister said.

Worth noting
• The Rangers announced before Thursday's game that righty reliever Chris Martin is going to the 10-day disabled list with a left groin strain. Ricardo Rodriguez was recalled from Triple-A Round Rock to take Martin's place in the bullpen.

This is the third trip to the DL this season for Martin.

"It's been manageable throughout," Banister said. "For precautionary moves, we want to make sure that we get him right."

Adrian Beltre was back in the lineup Thursday at DH after missing Wednesday's game against the Astros with an infected tooth. Beltre said before Thursday's game that he had a crown and root canal done on the same tooth within a couple days of each other.

Tyler Fenwick is a reporter for MLB.com based in Detroit.

Texas Rangers, Bartolo Colon, Chris Martin