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Burns odd man out after Wolf called up

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ARLINGTON -- The Rangers made room for right-hander Ross Wolf by sending reliever Cory Burns back to Triple-A Round Rock. The move leaves four left-handed relievers in the Rangers' seven-man bullpen.

Jason Frasor and Tanner Scheppers are the only right-handed relievers aside from closer Joe Nathan. The left-handers are Robbie Ross, Michael Kirkman, Neal Cotts and Joseph Ortiz. Burns, who has options, pitched in three games since being recalled on Thursday and allowed two runs on three hits and two walks with three strikeouts.

"Somebody had to go," manager Ron Washington said. "Cotts, we want him here. So there's the decision. When you look at it, [Burns] was the 25th man."

Cotts was called up on Tuesday and threw a scoreless inning in his first Major League appearance in almost four years. The Rangers can't send him back to Triple-A without exposing him to outright waivers, and Cotts would almost certainly be claimed by another team. In Wednesday's 3-1 win, Cotts pitched two scoreless innings and struck out the side in the sixth.

Ortiz was the only other candidate to be sent down because he also has options. He is 2-1 with a 3.63 ERA in 17 games.

"In Ortiz's case, we're not ready to go there," Washington said.

Washington said he is not concerned the Rangers bullpen is heavy from the left side.

"It's not a handicap," Washington said. "If guys are able to get outs, it doesn't matter. They all have good stuff. Cotts is healthy and throwing good. Some situations are presented to you where there are no clear-cut answers."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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