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Rangers evaluating 5th starter for stretch

MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers are officially undecided on who will be their fifth starter down the stretch.

That spot comes up on Friday when the Rangers open a three-game series with the Angels in Anaheim. Manager Jeff Banister said it will likely come down to A.J. Griffin, Nick Martinez or Austin Bibens-Dirkx.

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ARLINGTON -- The Rangers are officially undecided on who will be their fifth starter down the stretch.

That spot comes up on Friday when the Rangers open a three-game series with the Angels in Anaheim. Manager Jeff Banister said it will likely come down to A.J. Griffin, Nick Martinez or Austin Bibens-Dirkx.

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"We're still evaluating our options," Banister said.

Banister said it could depend on who is needed out of the bullpen in the next few days. Bibens-Dirkx has been used as the Rangers long reliever, but could be a strong candidate if he is not needed during the four-game series with the Mariners.

Video: TEX@ATL: Bibens-Dirkx fans two over three scoreless

Griffin is currently the Rangers' fifth starter, but he is 0-3 with a 6.88 ERA in his last four starts. He was charged with five runs in three-plus innings in a 16-7 loss to the Yankees on Sunday.

The Rangers don't appear ready to give Tyson Ross another shot in the rotation. He was 3-3 with a 7.04 ERA in 10 starts before being demoted to the bullpen and has allowed six runs in three innings over two appearances.

"He has shown some flashes, but still pretty inconsistent with his command," Banister said. "Not getting regular work has something to do with it."

September bumps, bruises

Nomar Mazara started at designated hitter on Monday night for the second time in three games while dealing with some tightness in his left thigh muscle. The Rangers were also missing Mike Napoli out of the lineup on Monday despite a left-hander on the mound for the Mariners, Banister said, because of being "banged up."

The Rangers are already without third baseman Adrian Beltre (strained left hamstring) and Carlos Gomez (sprained right ankle) for an unknown period of time. But at this point the Rangers don't see a need for further September callups.

"I don't think the "offensive" part of it has been an issue," Banister said.

Rangers beat

• Rangers backup catcher A.J. Jimenez got his first hit in Sunday's game against the Yankees, a single in the seventh inning. Jimenez was a September callup after ten years in the Minor Leagues.

"I still can't believe it," Jimenez said. "It is a dream come true. It feels so good just being here."

Video: NYY@TEX: Jimenez collects his first Major League hit

• Right-handed pitcher Andrew Cashner turned 31 on Monday.

• The Rangers held a moment of silence before Monday's game for long-time scout Mel Didier, who passed away Sunday night. The Rangers were among the teams Didier worked for during his 60-plus years as a scout in professional baseball.

• The Rangers' Sept. 11 pregame remembrance included the American flag being unfurled by members of the Arlington Police and Fire Department, and Tarrant County Sheriff's Department. There was also an Arlington Police Department Honor Guard, the national anthem being sung by Fort Worth police officer Oliver Hill and ceremonial first pitch by Dallas firefighter William An.

• Third-base coach Tony Beasley was away from the Rangers on Monday to take care of a personal matter. It was not health related. Triple-A manager Jason Wood filled in for him.

Keone Kela, on the disabled list with a sore right shoulder, threw a bullpen session on Monday and will be re-evaluated on Tuesday to see if he is ready to be activated.

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.

Texas Rangers, Austin Bibens-Dirkx, A.J. Griffin, Nick Martinez