Park, who has not pitched in the majors since April 27, will make his return from a strained lower back when the Rangers play the middle game of their interleague series with the Montreal Expos in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Park said his rehabilitation was frustrating but is looking forward to rejoining the Rangers, who have lost a season-high seven straight.
“Now I am back here to win,” Park said. “It’s not for show or for the money. I’m here to win for the team.”
As he rehabbed his back, Park went 1-0 with a 5.89 ERA in three starts for Triple-A Oklahoma and 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA in two starts for Double-A Frisco. Texas manager Buck Showalter said he is anxious to see how Park will perform when he returns to the rotation.
“We’ve done some things to help him become more productive,” Showalter said. “We’ll see how it goes. It’s one thing to pitch against Double-A and Triple-A and it’s another thing to pitch in the big leagues. There is some unknown there.”
Park will now be charged with shutting down an Expos offense that has been unstoppable of late.
After being held to 22 runs in losing eight of nine, the Expos have broken out for 21 runs over the last two games, setting a season high Friday in a 13-10 victory over the Rangers.
Guerrero was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a herniated disc in his back earlier on Friday.
STANDINGS: Rangers - 4th place, 15 GB, AL West. Expos - 2nd place, 6 GB, NL East.
RANGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Park (1-3, 7.16 ERA). Park struggled in his last start before going on the disabled list. In the Rangers’ 10-7 win over the New York Yankees on April 27, he gave up five runs and four hits in four innings. He is 4-3 with a 3.28 ERA in 14 career games against Montreal.
EXPOS PROBABLE STARTER: Claudio Vargas (2-2, 3.77 ERA). Vargas will not miss his scheduled start despite splitting a fingernail in his last outing. On Sunday, he worked five innings, giving up one run and five hits in a 4-1 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies. The rookie right-hander has never faced the Rangers.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Rangers - Hank Blalock, .355 avg.; Juan Gonzalez, 17 HRs and 46 RBIs; Carl Everett, 47 runs; Alex Rodriguez, 7 SBs. Expos - Jose Vidro, .341 avg.; Guerrero and Orlando Cabrera, 8 HRs and 33 RBIs; Cabrera, 39 runs; Endy Chavez, 11 SBs.
INTERLEAGUE RECORDS: Rangers - 0-4; Expos - 2-2.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Rangers - The Rangers traded OF Ruben Sierra to the Yankees for minor league OF Marcus Thames on Friday. Texas called up OF Kevin Mench from Triple-A Oklahoma to take Sierra’s roster spot. … RHP Park is a career .168 hitter (58-for-345) with 125 strikeouts. … OF Doug Glanville, sidelined since April 14 with a torn right hamstring tendon, will be activated from the DL on Saturday. Expos - RHP Zach Day will miss six-to-eight weeks with a slight tear in his rotator cuff. … Montreal purchased LHP Anthony Ferrari’s contract from Triple-A Edmonton to replace 1B Jeff Liefer, who was claimed off waivers by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. … SS Cabrera is batting .250 (5-for-20) in his career against Park.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Rangers - 11-20 on the road; Expos - 21-11 at home.
INJURIES: Rangers - INF Herbert Perry (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Joaquin Benoit (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Jeff Zimmerman (elbow), 60-day DL; OF Rusty Greer (shoulder), 60-day DL. Expos - OF Guerrero (back), 15-day DL; RHP Tony Armas Jr. (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Day (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Orlando Hernandez (shoulder), 15-day DL.