Kenny Rogers has apologized for his well-publicized run-in with a cameraman. He has appealed his suspension for the incident, and is still unsure if he will make the trip to Tuesday’s All-Star game in Detroit.
Those issues aside, the left-hander will be trying to end a two-start losing streak when he takes the ball for the Texas Rangers in the middle game of their series with the visiting Toronto Blue Jays.
After winning 18 games last year, Rogers appeared headed for a second straight career season. The 40-year-old southpaw had won nine straight decisions before a 6-0 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on June 22 that sent his season into a tailspin.
Rogers punched a water cooler with his non-pitching hand after coming out of the game, breaking his pinky. He then launched into a videotaped on-field tirade of a cameraman on June 29, making national headlines and earning a 20-game suspension from Major League Baseball.
With his suspension on appeal, and his decision to go to the All-Star game on hold, Rogers is hoping to help the Rangers continue to win games. He pitched very effectively in his return to the mound Sunday, limiting the Angels to two runs and six hits over 7 2-3 innings, but was hung with a 2-1 loss.
“He performed just like everyone here expected. He’s a competitive professional who gave his team a great chance to win,” Rangers manager Buck Showalter said.
By pitching Rogers on Saturday, Showalter will get a chance to send him to the mound against Oakland on Thursday in Texas’ first game back from the break. That is if MLB doesn’t make a decision on his appeal by then.
“He was able to pitch effectively with a broken hand last time, and he feels good enough to go out there again,” Showalter said. “That’s a real shot in the arm for us. It’s also a reminder he might be going away for a while.”
The Rangers rallied from an early five-run deficit in Friday’s series opener, scoring two runs in the ninth off Toronto closer Miguel Batista to pull out a 7-6 victory and end a two-game skid.
Toronto All-Star pitcher Roy Halladay left the game in the third inning after being struck on the left shin by a line drive. He was on the ground for about two minutes, got to his feet and walked slowly to the dugout after allowing three runs and six hits over 2 2-3 innings. He was taken to the Medical Center of Arlington for precautionary X-rays on his badly bruised leg.