Rangers’ Darvish sent to DL with bad back

BALTIMORE — Right-hander Yu Darvish was placed on the 15-day disabled list by the Texas Rangers and will miss the All-Star Game next week.

Darvish has a mild strain in his upper back. The move was announced Wednesday and is retroactive to July 6.

Darvish was scheduled to pitch against Baltimore on Thursday, but has been scratched. He’s 8-4 overall, but has won only once in his past nine starts.

Darvish leads the majors with 157 strikeouts. He has a 3.02 ERA.

Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine said, “At this stage, it’s not something we are really worried about.” He says the injury “was a little more fatigue than anything.”

Cardinals

Carpenter set for minor league rehab: In St. Louis, Chris Carpenter is set to make his first minor league rehabilitation start next week, an outing that once seemed very much in doubt for the former St. Louis ace.

Carpenter pitched a three-inning simulated game Wednesday. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said Carpenter will start Monday for Double-A Springfield.

“My stuff is good,” Carpenter said. “Again, the timing and stuff to make consistent quality pitches down in the strike zone still has a little ways to go. But my stuff was there, and I felt good. And that’s key, so I was excited about it.”

Matheny said Carpenter will be limited to a pitch count in the “60s-range” in his first live action since making three starts during the playoffs last year. Nerve issues have sidelined the 38-year-old right-hander since before the start of spring training this season, and it appeared his career might be in jeopardy.

Phillies

Howard has knee surgery: In Philadelphia, Ryan Howard had surgery Wednesday morning to repair a tear in his left knee.

The Philadelphia Phillies’ slugger will miss between six to eight weeks. He had an MRI on Monday that revealed the injury.

Howard, the 2006 NL MVP, went on the disabled list Saturday. The three-time All-Star was hitting .266 with 11 homers and 43 RBIs. He was hobbling during games before he was sidelined.

Mets

Harvey to skip next start: New York Mets right-hander Matt Harvey will skip his scheduled start Saturday against the Pittsburgh Pirates, making it even more likely he could start the All-Star game.

Manager Terry Collins made the announcement before the Mets’ series finale Wednesday with the San Francisco Giants. He said a minor blister has recently bothered the young ace.

Harvey is a top candidate to start the All-Star game for the National League on Tuesday.

“No. 1, he’s thrown 130 innings, and he’s going to be limited this summer,” Collins said. “Part of the reason is also his blister issue.”

“We need to back him off, and now is a good time,” Collins said. “If he pitches in the All-Star game, he’ll be ready for it.”

Harvey is 7-2 with a 2.35 ERA and leads the league with league with 147 strikeouts.