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Harden staying in the bullpen

Harden staying in the bullpen

MINNEAPOLIS -- Rich Harden made his first bullpen appearance for the Rangers on Saturday, allowing three runs in two innings. What's interesting is that the Rangers used him even though Cliff Lee had not yet been scratched from Tuesday's start.

That's an indication that the Rangers want Harden to get used to the bullpen rather than make a spot start, because that's where they feel he can help them down the stretch and, possibly, in the playoffs.

"He can come in there for a couple of innings and let it go rather than worrying about staying out there for seven innings," manager Ron Washington said. "He can just come in and pound the strike zone. His stuff may play better down there."