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Long Rangers Spring Training Draws To A Close

Stewart Mckenzie for CBS 11 Sports | CBSDFW.COM
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Colby Lewis fires a pitch against the Seattle Mariners in Wednesday's Spring Training game in Surprise, AZ.  Lewis went 5 innings and didn't give up a run in the start.

Colby Lewis fires a pitch against the Seattle Mariners in Wednesday’s Spring Training game in Surprise, AZ. Lewis went 5 innings and didn’t give up a run in the start.

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SURPRISE, Ariz. (CBS 11  SPORTS) –  It is safe to assume that this was not the type of Spring Training manager Ron Washington and his team expected.

On Wednesday, the Rangers announced that 2013 set-up man Tanner Scheppers would step into the spotlight as the 2014 Opening Day starter. He replaces Yu Darvish who was scratched yesterday from Monday’s start.

The Rangers announced that Yu Darvish was examined Wednesday by Dr. Drew Dossett. An MRI and exam by the doctor found no structural damage to Yu’s ailing neck. The Rangers wouldn’t say when Yu will be ready to pitch in a Major League game this year.

PHOTOS: CBS 11 at Texas Rangers Spring Training game

Scheppers spent 2013 as the primary 8th inning set-up man for Joe Nathan. Scheppers was 6-2 with a 1.88 ERA in 76 relief appearances. His last start was with AAA Round Rock in 2011.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Scheppers will be the second pitcher since 1945 to make his first Major League start on Opening Day. The last pitcher to do that was Fernando Valenzuela when he was with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1981.

In a flurry of pitching moves today, the Rangers announced that potential starting pitcher Tommy Hanson had been cut from the team.

The Rangers claimed right-handed pitcher Seth Rosin from the Los Angels Dodgers. Rosin spent 2013 with the Philadelphia Phillies AA team.

Texas also claimed infielder Donnie Murphy on waivers from the Chicago Cubs. Murphy has appeared in 290 Major League games in 8 seasons with various teams.

Outfielder Engel Beltre will start the season on the 60-day disabled list with a fractured right tibia.

Catcher Geovany Soto had arthorscopic surgery on his right knee. He is still projected to be out 10-12 weeks.

As for the final game in Surprise, Arizona for 2014, Texas beat the Seattle Mariners 5-3. Most of the Rangers regulars played 3 innings before giving way to rookies.

Third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff smacked a three run homer in the 6th inning to tie the game.

Starting pitcher Colby Lewis went 5 scoreless innings giving up one walk and striking out three Mariners. Washington also got to see Alexi Ogando and closer Joakim Soria pitch during the game. Soria picked up the save.

It is the Rangers first three game winning streak of Spring Training. “We just wanted to start playing baseball at the right time. Hopefully, we’re starting to do it at the right time,” explained Washington after Wednesday’s game.

Texas will fly back to Arlington for an exhibition game Thursday evening against the Quintana Roo at Globe Life Park in Arlington. The Rangers will play two exhibition games against the Houston Astros in San Antonio before opening the regular season at home, Monday afternoon, against the Philadelphia Phillies.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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