No rest for Cliff Lee ... yet

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Rangers manager Ron Washington said his staff briefly discussed giving Cliff Lee an extra day of rest and then decided to discuss it more after his next start, keeping him on track to pitch Tuesday in Kansas City.

The club has an off day Thursday between the Kansas City and Minnesota road series and they could alter things to get Lee some extra time then. That's something that will be talked about next week.

"We want some input from him and we'll talk about it," Washington said. "He's the guy that's toeing the rubber, so we'll listen to what he has to say."

Though Washington, pitching coach Mike Maddux and others will have the ultimate say. Lee has allowed four or more earned runs in his last four starts. He's 0-3 with an 8.39 ERA. Opponents are batting .318 against him in that stretch. Since he arrived in Texas, Lee is 2-5 with a 4.50 ERA. The Rangers are 3-7 in Lee's starts. Despite starting the season on the disabled list, Lee has thrown 179 2/3 innings, the fourth-most in the AL.

Other notes:

* Washington said INF Alex Cora will play Saturday and Sunday against the A's. Cora will play second base both games. Andres Blanco will play shortstop on Sunday to give Elvis Andrus a day off. Cora has yet to start since he was activated this homestand.

* RHP Frank Francisco is available to pitch tonight. He warmed up yesterday and everything felt fine. So if the Rangers need him, he's ready to go.

* Cristian Guzman and Dustin Nippert were assigned to Double-A Frisco on a rehab assignment that's supposed to start today.

* A random note out of left field: Matt Harrison threw some two-seam fastballs at 96-98 mph on Monday. I asked him about that today, because I can't remember him ever throwing a two-seamer that fast (that was according to the radar gun on TV. That was the day the gun at the park didn't work). He said he couldn't remember ever throwing them that fast and figured it was because he knew Jim Thome was the only hitter he was facing and that he was particularly amped up. "I was overthrowing and the ball was even moving the other way," Harrison said. "A couple of guys mentioned it was really fast." Anyway, I just found it interesting.