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Baker preparing for Friday start in Houston

Baker preparing for Friday start in Houston play video for Baker preparing for Friday start in Houston

SEATTLE -- Rangers manager Ron Washington said Scott Baker is staying in the rotation and will pitch Friday against the Astros. It will be Baker's sixth start of the season but the first time he makes back-to-back starts without a relief appearance since May 23 and 27.

Washington said that could change if Baker is needed out of the bullpen before then. But Baker also threw a 37-pitch bullpen session on Tuesday in preparation for Friday's start against the Astros. He allowed one run in five innings in a 3-1 victory over the Royals on Sunday.

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Baker is in the rotation because Yu Darvish is on the disabled list with mild inflammation in his right elbow and may not pitch again this season.

The Rangers are still expecting Derek Holland back in the rotation in September. Holland, recovering from offseason knee surgery, is scheduled to pitch Thursday for Triple-A Round Rock on what is his last start on medical rehabilitation assignment. The Rangers plan to activate him and put him back in the rotation when the rosters expand in September.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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