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June 05, 2013

Rangers' Mitch Moreland to have MRI on right hamstring

The Rangers are looking at yet another injured player after Mitch Moreland had to leave Wednesday's game in the seventh inning with tightness in his right hamstring.

The first baseman will return to Texas on Thursday morning for an MRI exam that will be read by team physician Dr. Keith Meister. Moreland suffered a pulled left hamstring last June at San Diego, but said the fresh one isn't nearly as severe as that one.

"It just got a little stiff in an important part of the game," he said. "I'm going to go back, get it checked on, get the MRI, and I'll try to be back on the plane and back here tomorrow night."

Manager Ron Washington said that Jeff Baker will start at first base in the finale at Fenway Park, and David Murphy will start in left field against left-hander Jon Lester.

The Rangers don't have much depth at first base in the minors should Moreland be put on the disabled list. Chris McGuiness is the regular at first at Triple A Round Rock after being sent back to the organization by Cleveland late in spring training after he failed to make the Indians' roster as a Rule 5 pick.

Mike Olt has played first base some, but he has been playing only about a week since an undisclosed vision issue cleared up. The third baseman is 4 for 8 with a home run in his first two games back with Round Rock, but likely still needs to at-bats to get his timing right.

Lance Berkman rates as another possibility at first base, though the Rangers are wary of putting too much strain on his right knee.

The Rangers are without second baseman Ian Kinsler, who is on the disabled list with a stress reaction in his ribcage, and are closely monitoring third baseman Adrian Beltre, who returned to the lineup Wednesday after taking two days off with a strained right hamstring.

Shortstop Elvis Andrus has been dealing with a sore back for more than a week.

Alexi Ogando returned from the disabled list Wednesday and allowed one run in 5 2/3 innings, but the Rangers haven't had Opening Day starter Matt Harrison (back surgery) since early April and continue to be without right-hander Colby Lewis (flexor tendon surgery/triceps tendinits) and right-handed reliever Joakim Soria (Tommy John surgery). Harrison and righty Neftali Feliz (Tommy John) won't be back until August, and Lewis and Soria are expected back in July.

-- Jeff Wilson



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