Rangers starter Matt Harrison receives second injection for inflamed nerve in back

Posted Sunday, Apr. 14, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Left-hander Matt Harrison might need more than 15 days on the disabled list after receiving a second cortisone injection Saturday to help cool the inflamed nerve in his lower back.

Harrison lost each of his first two starts of the season and was put on the DL on Thursday before the Texas Rangers opened a four-game series at Seattle. Right-hander Justin Grimm replaced Harrison, the Opening Day starter, in the rotation and was expected to make only one more start before Harrison could be activated April 22.

That might change if the second injection doesn’t take hold. Harrison, who isn’t on the road trip, said he still has some weakness in his legs.

“It’s frustrating,” Harrison said in a text message. “The first shot didn’t work as well as planned, and I got another one yesterday. Hopefully, it works.”

Grimm allowed only two runs in his 2013 debut but lasted just four innings as he struggled with his command and piled up 91 pitches. He is scheduled to start Wednesday at Chicago, but would also start April 22 at Anaheim if Harrison isn’t ready to come off the DL.

Soto homecoming

Manager Ron Washington said that he is planning to let Geovany Soto catch one of the three games this week at Wrigley Field, where he spent the first five full seasons of his career before getting dealt to the Rangers in July.

Soto was the National League Rookie of the Year in 2008, but was plagued by inconsistent seasons leading up to the trade. Nevertheless, Soto is looking forward to returning to Chicago.

“It’ll be fun,” he said. “I have a lot of great memories in Chicago. My time in Chicago, while it lasted, it was really great. But it’s a part of the game that I got traded. It’s something you can’t really control.

Soto is looking forward to returning to Chicago, even though he’s in a reserve role instead of as a starter. He has accepted his reduction of playing time behind A.J. Pierzynski.

“For me, I’m still playing,” said Soto, who signed a one-year deal with the Rangers in December. “I feel good and have no regrets. We have a great team and are winning ballgames. That’s all that matters.”

Ortiz well-suited

Joe Ortiz has his first two major-league victories, and he now has the duds to go with them.

Shortstop and fellow Venezuelan Elvis Andrus took Ortiz shopping for suits Friday morning after Ortiz’s first career win Thursday night.

“After I won the first victory, Elvis promised me he would take me shopping,” Ortiz said. “He gave me two.”

Ortiz then settled the score Saturday with his second career win. He entered in a 1-1 game in the seventh, pitching around a two-out single, and worked a perfect eighth after the Rangers had scored twice in the top half.

Ortiz got his six outs on only 22 pitches.

“He personifies being on the attack,” pitching coach Mike Maddux said. “Everybody liked what he did in spring training, and he’s the same guy. He hasn’t wavered.”

Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760

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