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Notes: Eyre to make first big-league start

Notes: Eyre to make first ML start

DETROIT -- The Rangers are planning to bring reliever Willie Eyre out of the bullpen and start him on Tuesday night against the Detroit Tigers.

Eyre is replacing Vicente Padilla, who was put on the disabled list Monday with triceps inflammation behind his right elbow.

The Rangers also considered left-hander John Koronka, but prefer a right-hander against a Tigers lineup that is heavy on right-handed hitters. The Tigers are 16-6 when facing a left-handed starter and, going into Monday's game, were hitting .310 off lefties.

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"We certainly don't want to bring a left-hander up here to face the Tigers unless it's necessary," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "Especially a pitcher who has been at Triple-A and then has to get these Tigers out."

Tiger Stadium supposedly favors left-handed pitchers because of the deep dimensions in left and left-center field. But Magglio Ordonez, going into Monday's game, was hitting .380 at home while Gary Sheffield was hitting .308 and Ivan Rodriguez was hitting .301. All are right-handed hitters.

"Those right-handed hitters don't seem to understand this ballpark is left-handed favorable," Washington said. "They can swing the bat."

Eyre has started 66 games in the Minor Leagues but this is his first Major League start. He is 2-3 with a 3.00 ERA in 19 relief appearances and his longest outing was four shutout innings against the Oakland Athletics on May 28.

He threw 54 pitches in that game. His season high was 71 pitches against the Angels on May 14.

"Whatever they need me to do," Eyre said. "Whatever happens, I'm going to do the same -- battle like I always do, inning to inning and batter to batter. I take it as a chance to throw more innings than usual."

Feldman recalled: The Rangers have recalled pitcher Scott Feldman from Triple-A Oklahoma to replace Padilla on the roster. Feldman started the season with the Rangers but has been sent to the Minors and recalled three times since May 1. This will be his fourth stay with the Rangers.

"It's always fun on the way up, but it stinks on the way down," Feldman said. "I've just got to pitch better and it will stop happening to me. I just wish I could have solidified myself more at the beginning of the season."

Feldman is 1-2 with a 6.66 ERA in 19 appearances for the Rangers. He made two appearances last week for Oklahoma and was scoreless over 3 2/3 innings, allowing just one hit and two walks while striking out four.

Young still on top: Michael Young was 0-for-5 against the Houston Astros on Sunday but still holds the highest batting average (minimum 300 at-bats) in Inter-League Play history. Young is hitting .347 (170-for-490), which puts him just ahead of Larry Walker, who retired with a .346 batting average in Inter-League Play.

Young went into Monday's game with the Detroit Tigers hitting .371 for the month of June and .289 for the season after starting off hitting .215 in April.

"I feel good where I'm at," Young said. "I'm not where I need to be but I feel good where I'm at. The toughest part was I was struggling and we were losing. But I said once I got out of it, 'I'd learn something about myself that would make me a better player.'"

Asked what he learned, Young said, "You can't press. Every player presses at some point but nothing good comes from pressing. I was pressing for a month and a half and it doesn't work in the big leagues.

"I can't pitch, I can't hit for guys and I can't play defense at all nine positions. I have to bear down on my job. I can be a great teammate and I can help other guys, but I still have to focus on my job."

Metcalf to get a shot: Travis Metcalf was out of the lineup on Monday for the second straight game but that's about to change. He'll start against left-handers Nate Robertson and Kenny Rogers in the next two games and manager Ron Washington said he's going to start him on Thursday against right-hander Justin Verlander.

That's a day game and Washington is planning on using Michael Young at designated hitter. That means Ramon Vazquez will start at shortstop.

McCarthy watch: Brandon McCarthy came out of Sunday's medical rehabilitation start for Oklahoma without any problems with the blister on his right middle finger. But the Rangers still want him to get one more start in the Minors and he'll pitch for Double-A Frisco on Friday. If all goes well, he'll rejoin the rotation on the next homestand.

He said it: "We just need to keep doing what we're doing -- having fun, playing loose and focusing on execution."
-- Young, on the Rangers demanding roadtrip to Detroit and Boston

Sunday's Minor Stars: Gold: Triple-A Oklahoma catcher Chris Stewart went 3-for-3 with a double, home run and three RBIs in a 6-4 victory over Omaha.

Silver: Outfielder Brandon Boggs went 3-for-5 with a home run and five RBIs in Double-A Frisco's 11-7 victory over Corpus Christi.

Bronze: Clinton pitcher Omar Poveda threw six scoreless innings in an 8-1 victory over Kane County and is now 8-2 with a 2.44 ERA on the season.

Briefly: The Rangers are putting up three billboards around the Metroplex congratulating Sammy Sosa on his 600th home run. ... Sunday marked only the third time in 24 games that the Rangers have lost despite scoring seven runs or more.

Up next: Eyre pitches against Robertson at 6:05 p.m. CT Tuesday at Comerica Park in Game 2 of the four-game series between the Rangers and the Tigers.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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