Soria could join Rangers pen by weekend

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Rehabbing Texas Rangers reliever Joakim Soria will try to complete his final hurdle this week before pitching for the Rangers for the first time. He's scheduled to pitch Wednesday and Thursday for Double-A Frisco, his first back-to-back appearances during his rehab assignment.

Soria, returning from Tommy John surgery, could pitch for the Rangers as early as this weekend if all goes well.

"He's getting close," Rangers manager Ron Washington said.

Soria will make his sixth rehab appearance Wednesday. He hasn't pitched in the big leagues since the 2011 season. He left a spring training appearance with the Kansas City Royals on March 18, 2012, due to pain in his right elbow. He had surgery April 3.

Soria had 160 saves in 180 chances with the Royals for an 88.9 percentage, fourth best in the major leagues since 1969 (minimum 180 save opportunities).