ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- The Texas Rangers designated right-hander Derek Lowe for assignment Monday, clearing the way for Josh Lindblom to make his first career major league start against Oakland.
Lowe won a big league roster out of spring training after signing a minor league contract in March, then allowed 13 earned runs in 13 innings. The 39-year-old gave up seven hits and eight runs with two homers in his last 2 2-3 innings.
Rangers manager Ron Washington essentially had to make a decision between Lowe, who was his long reliever, and Cory Burns, a more situational right-hander who was called up last week when starter Alexi Ogando went on the disabled list with right biceps tendinitis.
Washington said the decision was tough because of the leadership role played by Lowe, who has won 176 games in 17 seasons. The Rangers have 10 days to trade or release Lowe or attempt to send him outright to the minors.
"It came down to numbers," Washington said. "He's a pro. He's certainly been big in that clubhouse with our young pitchers. The value he brings you can't buy."
Lowe gave up a three-run homer to the first batter he faced with the Rangers -- Houston's Rick Ankiel on opening night. He bounced back with several strong outings, including four hitless innings against Seattle for his only win.
In his final appearance for the Rangers, he came on in long relief after starter Derek Holland fell behind 4-1 in the fifth inning. When Texas rallied for a 5-4 lead, Lowe started the sixth inning but was pulled after giving up two singles in the first three batters. Both runners eventually scored.
"It hurts because of his presence," Washington said. "He brings value, something that you just can't buy. But we had to make a decision and not all of them are cut and dried. We're moving on."
Lindblom is taking Ogando's turn in the rotation after coming to Texas as a right-handed reliever in the offseason trade that sent Michael Young to Philadelphia. He struggled as a reliever in spring training, so the Rangers tried him as a starter at Triple-A Round Rock, where he went 4-0 with a 2.08 ERA in eight appearances, including seven starts.
The 25-year-old Lindblom had 101 relief appearances with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Philadelphia. He went into Monday night's start with a 4-5 record and 3.31 ERA in his career.
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