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March 21, 2013

Matt Harrison to start Opening Day for Rangers, Robbie Ross in bullpen

Manager Ron Washington has named left-hander Matt Harrison the Rangers' starting pitcher March 31 at Houston in the season opener, and the 2012 All-Star will also start the home opener April 5.

Yu Darvish will follow Harrison in the order, pitching April 2 and will work again April 7.

"We decided to give the ball to Harry," Washington said. "He was our most consistent guy last year. He won us 18 games, and we thought it was fitting he got this opportunity. He was excited. It was something he wanted.

"Yu was a professional about it. The only thing Yu cared about was the fact that he wants to stay healthy this year and do well for us, whether he was the No. 1 guy or not."

Washington did not settle any of the remaining three spots in the rotation, though Derek Holland and Alexi Ogando are likely to be the No. 3 and No. 4 starters. Three pitchers -- Nick Tepesch, Randy Wells and Justin Grimm -- remain in the hunt for the No. 5 starter, and the Rangers are keeping an eye on Thursday starter Derek Lowe.

Robbie Ross is out of the hunt for the fifth spot. He worked an inning Thursday in a minor-league game as the transition to the bullpen begins.

"We looked at the makeup of our bullpen and felt like Robbie did a good job there," Washington said. "He was still in the process of trying to find his legs and trying to find a comfort of being a starter. We're at the time right now where we need to get him going in the position he's going to play."

-- Jeff Wilson

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