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Payano stays in rotation; Palumbo nears callup

Duo likely to start doubleheader vs. Angels on Aug. 20
@Sullivan_Ranger
August 11, 2019

MILWAUKEE -- The Rangers are going to stay with rookie right-hander Pedro Payano in the rotation. He is down for his next start on Thursday against the Twins at Globe Life Park in Arlington. The Rangers are getting closer to bringing left-hander Joe Palumbo to the big leagues but want

MILWAUKEE -- The Rangers are going to stay with rookie right-hander Pedro Payano in the rotation. He is down for his next start on Thursday against the Twins at Globe Life Park in Arlington.

The Rangers are getting closer to bringing left-hander Joe Palumbo to the big leagues but want him to make one more start in Nashville and get his pitch count up to 85-90 pitches.

Palumbo threw 72 pitches over five innings for Nashville in a 5-1 win against Fresno on Friday. It was his second start after missing three weeks with a strained left foot.

Payano and Palumbo are in line to start a doubleheader against the Angels on Aug. 20 in Arlington.

“I am not going to say for sure they are both pitching that day, but I’m pretty sure they are both pitching that day,” manager Chris Woodward said.

Payano is 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA in three starts and two relief appearances for the Rangers. In 18 2/3 innings, he has allowed 20 hits and 12 walks while striking out 14.

He lasted just three innings in a 3-2 loss to the Brewers on Saturday. He faced 17 batters and nine reached base on five hits, three walks and a hit batter. The Brewers rank second in the National League in walks and lead the league in pitches per plate appearance, and they used that to their advantage when facing Payano.

“He has been really good for us,” Woodward said. “Yesterday he obviously struggled. His biggest thing when he came up, he did a really good job of commanding all his pitches. Behind in the count, he could throw his slider and changeup. But I think now a lot of them are not in the zone, and you could see this team is pretty patient. They just said, 'If you don’t throw it over the plate, if you don’t throw it up, we are not going to swing at it.'”

Woodward said it was a good learning experience for Payano.

“To recognize that when teams do that to him, he’s got to be able to throw the ball over the plate and attack the strike zone,” Woodward said. “There a lot of guys with stuff that when you get to the big leagues, if you can’t execute it when you want to, you run into trouble. Yesterday was the first day I saw that; he couldn’t command anything. The next time around it will be big for him to see how he gets over that and how he responds.”

Rangers beat:

• After losing the first two games against the Brewers, the Rangers are now 1-8-3 in their last 12 series. The only winning series was a three-game sweep of the Tigers last weekend in Arlington.

• Taylor Guerrieri threw three scoreless innings in relief for the Rangers on Saturday. It’s the fourth time this season that a Rangers reliever has pitched three or more scoreless innings in relief. The longest was Kyle Dowdy with 3 2/3 innings on April 19 against the Astros. Jesse Chavez and Joe Palumbo also had an outing of three scoreless innings for the Rangers this year.

• Adrian Sampson also pitched a scoreless inning in relief Saturday. He now has a 3.00 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP in 12 relief appearances as opposed to a 6.41 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP over 10 starts.

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.