Rangers push Rich Harden to Tuesday

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington announced that right-hander Rich Harden will start Tuesday in Tampa Bay, meaning lefty C.J. Wilson will pitch Sunday against the Boston Red Sox.

Because of two off days this week, the Rangers decided to take the opportunity to skip the fifth starter. Washington said Harden, who allowed three runs on two hits and five walks in just 2 1/3 innings in Oakland on Saturday, will definitely pitch Tuesday in Tampa Bay.

The AL West-leading Rangers will go with a starting rotation of RHP Tommy Hunter (9-1, 3.01 ERA), RHP Colby Lewis (9-8, 3.37 ERA) and Wilson (10-5, 3.30 ERA) in this weekend's home series against the Red Sox.

Harden has only had two starts since coming back from the disabled list with a strained left glute muscle. In his last start, Harden didn't have good command of his fastball and was not able to let the A's hitters put the ball in play, something that frustrated him.

He'll take the extra days to work with pitching coach Mike Maddux and see if he can't revert back to the pitcher that gave up one run in seven innings against the Angels on July 31.

Richard Durrett covers the Rangers for ESPNDallas.com. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.