Joakim Soria ready for rehab assignment

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers are one step closer to getting some much-needed bullpen help as a right-hander Joakin Soria begins a rehab assignment Thursday night.

Soria will pitch an inning for Double-A Frisco. It will be the first time Soria has pitched in a game since having Tommy John surgery on April 3, 2012.

Soria, who saved 160 games as Kansas City's closer from 2007-12, was a key offseason acquisition for the Rangers, who signed him to a two-year contract in the December.

The Rangers could use right-handed depth in the bullpen. The Texas bullpen has allowed runs in a season-high six straight games and has relied heavily on left-handers Robbie Ross and Neal Cotts in the sixth and seventh innings.

The plan is for Soria to throw around 10 innings on his rehab assignment and throw in consecutive games before he'll be considered to come up to the big league club.