OAKLAND -- The Rangers are undecided between right-hander Nick Martinez and left-hander Cesar Ramos as their starter for Saturday's game against the Cardinals in St. Louis.Manager Jeff Banister said Martinez didn't take himself out of the running after throwing 45 pitches in relief in Wednesday's 7-5 victory over the Athletics."If
OAKLAND -- The Rangers are undecided between right-hander Nick Martinez and left-hander Cesar Ramos as their starter for Saturday's game against the Cardinals in St. Louis.
Manager Jeff Banister said Martinez didn't take himself out of the running after throwing 45 pitches in relief in Wednesday's 7-5 victory over the Athletics.
"If he had gone longer, it would have eliminated him," Banister said. "But 40-45 pitches is close to a normal [between starts] work day."
Martinez has been used just twice in relief with the Rangers this season, but he was 6-4 with a 4.50 ERA in 11 starts for Triple-A Round Rock. He has also made 45 starts for the Rangers over the past two seasons, going 12-19 overall with a 4.51 ERA.
Martinez also has another factor working in his favor with no designated hitter being used in the National League park. He was an infielder at Fordham and knows how to swing a bat, even though he is hitless in seven career at-bats in the Major Leagues.
"If you look at the two options, you have to consider it," Banister said. "Especially the starting side of it."
Ramos started on Monday, when Yu Darvish was placed on the disabled list. He allowed eight runs, six earned, in 3 2/3 innings, on eight hits and five walks. He has made four starts for the Rangers and is 1-2 with a 4.95 ERA as a starter.
The Rangers also have veteran right-hander Kyle Lohse at Round Rock, where he is 2-3 with a 5.35 ERA in six starts. The Rangers signed him to a Minor League contract last month, and he is not on the 40-man roster.
The Rangers view Lohse as an option if there is a long-term need. This could be just one start before Yu Darvish is ready to come off the disabled list.
"All the reports on Lohse have been OK," Banister said. "Similar to what we have seen before ... a strike-thrower. I would think, with the experience level, Lohse would be an option. It's obviously not a clean transition if we call him up. We would need a roster spot.
"This is a spot start. With Lohse's case, we would want to look at something more long term. That's not the case here."
A.J. Griffin, on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation, has made two starts on medical rehabilitation assignment and will likely need at least two more before he is ready. His next start is scheduled for Sunday.
Odor blasting away
Second baseman Rougned Odor leads the Rangers with 12 home runs, but that hasn't changed his view as a hitter.
"I'm not a power hitter," Odor said the morning after he hit two home runs in a game for the first time in his career. Odor and Robinson Chirinos both hit two home runs in the Rangers' victory Wednesday.
"I'm a contact hitter," Odor said. "A doubles hitter. I'm just trying to hit the ball hard. Sometimes it goes out. Sometimes it is a base hit."
The only Rangers second baseman to lead the team in home runs for a season was Ian Kinsler, who had 32 in 2011 to tie him with Adrian Beltre. Odor is two ahead of everybody else.
"Just for right now ... you know the big boys are going to come," Odor said.
• Prince Fielder started at first base on Thursday for only the fourth time this season. It was to prepare him to play the position this weekend with no designated hitter being used. Banister said both Fielder and Mitch Moreland will play first base against the Cardinals, but he hasn't decided who will start which game.
• Beltre was back in the lineup on Thursday after missing seven games with a strained left hamstring. Jurickson Profar got the day off after filling in for Beltre at third base. Banister is back to looking for ways to get Profar in the lineup, but he said Odor and shortstop Elvis Andrus will each get a day off this weekend in St. Louis. The Rangers will be playing in hot and humid weather after seven cool days in Seattle and Oakland.
• The Rangers erased the Athletics' 5-0 lead in Wednesday's comeback win. It was their largest road comeback since July 25, 2008, when they trailed 5-0 against the Athletics and rallied for a 14-6 victory.
T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.