HOU@TEX: Martin drills a solo home run to right field

ARLINGTON -- Rangers center fielder Leonys Martin is hitting .274 on the season and .296 against right-handed pitchers, but is hitting nearly .100 lower than that against lefties.

Martin is batting .200 against left-handed pitchers, and didn't start Wednesday against Astros lefty Dallas Keuchel.

"Right now the two consistent left handers are [Shin-Soo] Choo and [Rougned] Odor," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "Maybe coming out of the break I'll start running Martin out there and see if he can pick that up, because he's a guy we certainly expect to play every single day."

Washington said that between Jake Smolinski, Adam Rosales and Daniel Robertson, among others, he has a reliable lineup against left-handed pitchers and that he doesn't feel any less prepared against them than he does right-handers.

Odor and Choo were the only two left-handed hitters who started Wednesday for Washington, who hopes Martin finds a solution soon.

"He's not hitting lefties very well right now," Washington said. "Coming out of the break, I'm going to give him some lefties just to give him a chance to see if he can figure it out."

Darvish OK after getting hit in head by ball in BP

Rangers send Beltre, Darvish to All-Star Game

ARLINGTON -- A day after he was hit in the head with a baseball during batting practice, Rangers ace Yu Darvish was OK and made his start Wednesday night against the Astros.

Rangers manager Ron Washington said that the accident didn't pose any extra concern and that Darvish would proceed as usual Wednesday.

"We always do ask him how he feels every time he comes off the mound," Washington said before the game. "He'll let us know if something is wrong."

Darvish allowed six runs on 10 hits over six innings in the 8-4 loss.

"I was going between life and death last night," Darvish jokingly said after. "I left a will to my interpreter that if I didn't wake up in the morning, please say hi to everyone. But fortunately, I was able to wake up this morning and I felt good so I was able to pitch today."

Mendez turns in stellar Major League debut

HOU@TEX: Mendez tosses two scoreless in MLB debut

ARLINGTON -- Right-hander Roman Mendez made his Major League debut Tuesday night against the Astros, pitching two scoreless innings to become just the third pitcher in club history to throw for at least two innings without a hit in his Major League debut.

The 23-year-old Mendez was called up from Triple-A Round Rock on Monday, living up to Rangers manager Ron Washington's expectations of him, while also adding in a few surprises.

"They said he was throwing strikes, getting his slider across the plate, and that's what he did [Tuesday] night -- attacked the zone," Washington said. "Now I didn't know he threw it 97 [mph]. ... When he popped 97 last night I asked [pitching coach] Mike [Maddux], 'He throws 97?' He said, 'Yeah.'"

Prospect Williams collects four hits at Single-A

Top Prospects: Nick Williams, OF, Rangers

Outfielder Nick Williams, the Rangers' No. 4 prospect, collected four hits Wednesday and helped Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach rout Winston-Salem, 12-3.

Williams went 4-for-5 with two doubles, a triple, two runs and an RBI. It was his third career four-hit game and first since he was in the rookie-level Arizona League in 2012.

Though Williams fell just a home run shy of the cycle, he was never in position to complete the feat. He didn't collect his single until the ninth inning and didn't come back up to bat.

Williams seems to have fully recovered from a hamstring injury that forced him to spend two weeks on the disabled list last month. He is on a seven-game hitting streak and is hitting .394/.452/.788 with five home runs in 16 games since returning to the Pelicans lineup.

Overall this season, Williams is hitting .327/.377/.546 with 10 home runs in 67 games with Myrtle Beach. He ranks second in the Carolina League in hitting and third in slugging percentage and OPS. His .327 batting average is second only to the Braves' No. 3 prospect Jose Peraza, who was promoted to Double-A Mississippi last month.

Thursday also marked outfielder Lewis Brinson's debut with the Pelicans. The Rangers' No. 6 prospect played center field and went 2-for-6 with a double and three RBIs. He was promoted this week from Class A Hickory after hitting .335/.405/.579 with 10 home runs and seven stolen bases in 43 games.

Worth noting

Donnie Murphy rejected an outright assignment and was placed on unconditional release waivers.

• The Rangers promoted left-handed pitcher Jimmy Reyes from Double-A Frisco to Triple-A Round Rock on Wednesday. Reyes is the Rangers' ninth Double-A player this season to be called up to Triple-A.

• The Rangers are a season-worst 14 games under .500, the first time they've been that low since Aug. 26, 2007.

• The Rangers are 19 games behind the A's, who lead the division. The last time they were that many games back at any point in a season was the end of 2008.

• The Rangers' four-game losing streak to Houston ties for their longest losing streak against their in-state rivals.