Lee still hurting, could miss start

Cliff Lee and the Texas Rangers aren’t sure when he will pitch again.

Lee felt some discomfort in the area of his back where he recently got a cortisone shot, and he didn’t go through with his scheduled bullpen session before Saturday’s game at Minnesota. He threw in the outfield instead.

Lee, acquired by the Rangers in a July trade with the Seattle Mariners, will try to throw off a mound before today’s game, and then a decision will be made about whether he’ll start Tuesday at Toronto.

“I feel better today than yesterday,” Lee said. “If I see the same improvement tomorrow, we’re definitely heading in the right direction.”

The Rangers also took out shortstop Elvis Andrus in the fourth inning of Saturday’s 12-4 loss to Minnesota, replacing him with Cristian Guzman because of tightness in his hamstrings. Trailing 9-1, the Rangers also removed center fielder Josh Hamilton and catcher Bengie Molina.

Hamilton, who left Friday’s game early because of tightness in his lower back and also missed two games earlier this week following a painkilling shot in his knee, bruised his ribs after a running catch into the wall.

Manager Ron Washington said Hamilton would probably be out for the next two days. Precautionary X-rays were negative. Hamilton said the injury is similar to the one he endured last season that put him on the disabled list.

Andrus is day to day. He’s been playing with the injury for “a while,” Washington said.


Carlos Silva is scheduled to start Tuesday for the Chicago Cubs against Houston after missing more than a month because of a heart problem.

He takes the spot of Tom Gorzelanny, who will miss at least one turn in the rotation after being hit in the left hand by a line drive against Pittsburgh on Wednesday.

Silva, who is 10-5 with a 3.92 ERA after the Mariners traded him to the Cubs in an offseason swap for Milton Bradley, has not pitched since Aug. 1. He underwent a surgical procedure called cardiac ablation to correct a problem with his heart rate.


Injured stars Alex Rodriguez and Andy Pettitte are getting closer to rejoining the New York Yankees. Pettitte threw 50 pitches in a simulated game Saturday morning at Yankee Stadium and said he had no problems with the strained left groin that has kept him out since July 19. One of the batters he faced was Rodriguez, sidelined with a strained left calf. … Right-hander Adalberto Mendez has joined the Florida Marlins and will make his major league debut when he starts in the first game of a doubleheader Monday at Philadelphia. The Marlins put right-hander Ricky Nolasco (knee) and infielder Donnie Murphy (wrist), both already ruled out for the season, on the 60-day disabled list.