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Rangers not sure how storm will affect travel

Hurricane Harvey could force contingency plans for Texas teams
MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

OAKLAND -- The Rangers open a three-game series with the Astros on Tuesday at Minute Maid Park in Houston.

Manager Jeff Banister said that is still the plan, even though the Texas coast is being hammered by Hurricane Harvey. The storm was upgraded to Category 4 just before making landfall on Friday night.

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OAKLAND -- The Rangers open a three-game series with the Astros on Tuesday at Minute Maid Park in Houston.

Manager Jeff Banister said that is still the plan, even though the Texas coast is being hammered by Hurricane Harvey. The storm was upgraded to Category 4 just before making landfall on Friday night.

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The center of the storm was directed at Corpus Christi, 200 miles south of Houston. But there is still a potential for flooding in the Houston area, especially if the storm stalls for a few days along the coast. That is one prediction. Another prediction is the hurricane could return to the Gulf of Mexico, strengthen and then head north toward Houston and Louisiana.

The Rangers' original plan was to fly to Houston on Sunday night and spend Monday's day off there.

"We have a couple of different contingency plans," Banister said. "Obviously you've got to be able to land the plane."

The Astros are in Southern California this weekend playing the Angels so they, too, will have to find a way to get back to Houston. The Rangers and the Astros are scheduled for three games Tuesday-Thursday, but heavy rain is forecast through Friday morning.

Minute Maid Park has a roof, but the greater concern is flooding in the area and other emergency situations that could still make it difficult to play.

"I just know for us, normalcy is best," Banister said. "Let those who plan these things out worry about the next step if we can't get to Houston. Our plan is to get on a plane Sunday, fly into Houston and have an off-day there."

In 2008, the Astros had two September games against the Cubs diverted to Milwaukee because of Hurricane Ike. The Astros were furious with the decision, especially after they were no-hit by Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano.

Rangers consider September callups

Banister said the Rangers are discussing September callups with an eye toward the usual reinforcements required by a contending team. Contenders usually want extra relief pitching, especially a left-hander, speed and defense off the bench and a third catcher.

One issue is the Rangers don't have another catcher on the 40-man roster behind Robinson Chirinos or Brett Nicholas. A.J. Jimenez and Brett Hayes have been sharing the duties at Round Rock since Nicholas was called up.

The Rangers have Jose Trevino at Double-A Frisco. He is the No. 13 prospect in the Rangers system, according to MLB Pipeline, and was just named to the Texas League postseason All-Star team.

Rangers beat

Tony Barnette earned his first Major League save on Wednesday night and Ricardo Rodriguez did so Thursday. It marked the fourth time in Rangers history that two relievers earned their first career saves on back-to-back nights. The others, according to STATS Inc., were Wayne Rosenthal and Terry Mathews in 1991, Terry Burrows and Ed Vosberg in 1995 and R.A. Dickey and Brian Shouse in 2003.

• The Rangers have reached 200 home runs for the 13th time in club history. The record is 260, set in 2005.

• The Rangers have not had a blown save since July 2.

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