<
>

Extra bases: No need to panic with Grimm

HOUSTON -- This is no time to panic on right-hander Justin Grimm, despite three straight May losses after earning rookie of the month honors in April.

And anyway, who would take his spot in the rotation if the Rangers wanted to make a change?

The reinforcments aren't ready. Colby Lewis just had an anti-inflammatory injection to treat mild triceps tendinitis, so his return has been pushed back at least until mid-June. Martin Perez doesn't look ready. Josh Lindblom? No way.

Manager Ron Washington said after Monday's 5-1 loss to the A's that he's not concerned about Grimm. Grimm allowed a pair of two-out runs in the second inning and then gave up home runs to Yoenis Cespedes and Brandon Moss in the third inning.

The Rangers were lifeless on offense, going 0-for-6 with men on base against A's starter A.J. Griffin, so Grimm didn't get the benefit of pitching with a lead. The Rangers offense wasn't able to come all the way back in a game like they did for Alexi Ogando and Yu Darvish in Houston.

Grimm should and will get time to find his way back to his 2-1 record and 1.59 ERA in April, or somewhere in the middle from there and where he is in May.

Some in the organization, such as Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan, think Grimm and fellow rookie Nick Tepesch, who also hit a speed bump in May before Sunday in Houston, will only get better.

"They've done what we've asked of them," Ryan said Monday on Galloway & Company on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM. "They're both rookies. I think they're going to get better myself."

Other notes:

Holland is money: Derek Holland goes for three straight victories pitching after a Rangers loss when he takes the mound Tuesday night in Oakland. He has allowed one earned run in 15 innings in wins over Boston and Milwaukee in his previous two starts.

Griffin's key: The key to A.J. Griffin's dominant performance against the Rangers on Monday night? He kept the ball down. He threw 60.2 percent of his pitches down in the strike zone or below it, the highest percentage in a start in his career. Rangers hitters were 2-for-15 (both singles) in at-bats ending with a pitch in that location, with Griffin picking up seven of his eight strikeouts in that situation.

Murphy battling: Left fielder David Murphy went 1-for-2 on Monday to extend his hitting streak to eight games. He's raised his average to .205. He's still hurting with the sore/bruised tailbone, but he's fighting through it.