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Feldman wants to make most of start

Feldman wants to make most of start

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Scott Feldman, unexpectedly placed in the bullpen in Spring Training, is back in the Rangers' rotation, at least for a couple of starts. Feldman, who was never happy about getting stuck in the bullpen, starts on Saturday against the Orioles because Kris Benson is on the disabled list with right elbow inflammation.

"I'm excited," Feldman said. "I love starting and I'm excited to get the opportunity. We've got a few guys out in the bullpen who have started in the past. It's one of those things that's a good problem to have -- having a couple of guys who are capable of doing it. When I get the opportunity, I want to take advantage of it, go deep in the game and win the game."

Feldman, who has been working as a long man out of the Rangers bullpen, has pitched just once in the past 11 days, throwing 36 pitches over 12/3 innings on Wednesday in Toronto. He has made just two other appearances, throwing 48 pitches against the Indians on April 9 and 56 pitches against the O's on April 13. The Rangers are hoping to get 60-65 out of him on Saturday.

"We want to get at least five innings out of him," manager Ron Washington said. "If his pitch counts build up, we'll watch that, because he's not extended. If we can get five out of him, we'll be satisfied."

The Rangers have three other pitchers in the bullpen who have been starters: Jason Jennings, Luis Mendoza and Derek Holland. But the Rangers are pretty much set on keeping Jennings in the bullpen, because he has been one of their more effective relievers. They also aren't ready to put Holland in the rotation just yet, but that's coming soon.

"We talked about that a little bit," general manager Jon Daniels said. "But when we called Derek up, we said we wanted to get his feet wet and grown a little bit in the bullpen. We're going to stick to that plan. At some point, he'll be starting games for us."

Benson on Friday returned from Dallas, where he had his right elbow examined by Dr. Keith Meister. The diagnosis is elbow inflammation. He'll play catch on Saturday and is hoping to throw off a mound Sunday. He is eligible to come off the disabled list on Friday.

Pitching matchup
TEX: RHP Scott Feldman (0-0, 12.15 ERA)
Feldman made one start against the Orioles last year and beat them, 5-3, at Camden Yards on July 5. He went six innings and allowed three runs on five hits and four walks. Including four relief appearances, he has a 4.73 career ERA against the O's. He allowed three runs in 2 2/3 innings in a relief appearance against them earlier this season.

BAL: LHP Mark Hendrickson (1-2, 3.86 ERA)
Hendrickson will get a rematch against the Rangers on Saturday. He pitched against them on April 15 in Arlington and gave nine runs over 3 2/3 innings in a 19-6 loss. Only two of the runs were earned. He is 1-3 with an 8.50 ERA in six career appearances, including four starts, against the Rangers. He has a career 3.08 ERA at Camden Yards.

Tidbits
Joe Torres, who has been sidelined with a strained back muscle, has been assigned to Double-A Frisco. ... With a left-hander on the mound Saturday, Andruw Jones is expected to be in the lineup. It will be his sixth start on the season. ... Jones played first base on Thursday night after pinch-hitting for Chris Davis. Washington said it's unlikely Jones will see much action there in the future, but could in an emergency.

Tickets
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On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
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•  Official game notes

On television
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On radio
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Up next
• Sunday: Rangers (Brandon McCarthy, 2-0, 4.76) at Orioles (Brad Bergesen, 1-0, 1.59), 12:35 p.m. CT
• Monday: Rangers (Matt Harrison, 0-2, 9.20) at Orioles (Jeremy Guthrie, 2-1, 5.16), 6:05 p.m. CT
• Tuesday: Rangers (Kevin Millwood, 1-2, 2.10) vs. Athletics (Dana Eveland, 0-1, 7.36), 7:05 p.m. CT

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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