Lee will push Harden back in rotation

Lee will push Harden back in rotation

ANAHEIM -- Rich Harden was at his best on Saturday night, holding the Angels to one run over seven innings in a 2-1 victory. But that won't keep him from being pushed back in the rotation so the Rangers can keep Cliff Lee pitching every fifth day.

Lee, who started on Sunday, will pitch on Friday against the Athletics in Oakland on four days' rest. Harden will be pushed back to Saturday against the Athletics.

"We want to get as many starts out of Lee as we can," Washington said. "If that changes, it's because Lee tells us he needs an extra day. He's always thrown every fifth day."

Harden, though, has a spot in the rotation. Scott Feldman is in the bullpen and, on Sunday, the Rangers took Derek Holland off the disabled list and optioned him to Triple-A Oklahoma City. Unless there is a need, that's where Holland will be until September.

Right now, the Rangers have a set rotation that includes Harden, who came off the disabled list on Saturday and earned his first victory since June 1. Harden was on the disabled list since June 12 with a strained lower back muscle.

"I think since he came back, he's been looking like a guy with some confidence," Washington said. "He's got something to prove. This is a guy who has always had a ton of pride. He feels like he's got something to prove to himself and his teammates."