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TEX@CLE: Darvish strikes out eight over seven innings

Robbie Ross Jr. will be the next man up after Rangers right-hander Yu Darvish was scratched from Thursday's start with inflammation in his right elbow.

Ross is being recalled from Triple-A Round Rock in time to make Thursday's start. After he opened the season in the Rangers rotation, where he was 2-4 with a 5.61 ERA in nine starts and nine relief appearances, Ross went 4-4 with a 5.10 ERA in eight starts and one relief appearance at Triple-A.

"He is throwing the ball well," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "We felt like he's made progress and is ready to get an opportunity. He would have been up in September anyway. He feels good and has his confidence back. He made a couple of mechanical adjustments, but the main thing is he has his confidence back."

The Rays will counter with Jake Odorizzi, who has settled into a groove since early June. In his last 11 starts, Odorizzi has posted a 2.63 ERA while allowed three or fewer runs in 10 outings.

Strikeouts have been a key to Odorizzi's success of late. He has struck out 139 hitters this season in 122 2/3 innings after striking out nine in six innings his last time out.

"I can't really pinpoint a certain thing. It's kind of how it happened. You make a good pitch. And either they think it's a ball and it's a strike or they swing through it," Odorizzi said. "When you throw three or four different pitches as different speeds, it's hard to put it in play if you're looking for something and you get something else."

Darvish, meanwhile, had allowed six runs in four innings in his last start against the Astros on Saturday. He told the Rangers that the elbow was not a problem on Saturday, but he felt some discomfort when he tried to play catch on Monday.

If the Rangers were in a pennant race, Darvish might have tried to pitch on Thursday. But the Rangers are in last place in the AL West with a disabled list full of star players.

"With the year we are having with injuries, we're not going to take any chance of pushing it," Daniels said.

Rays: Gomes recalled to bolster bullpen, Figueroa optioned
The Rays optioned infielder Cole Figueroa to Triple-A Durham and recalled right-hander Brandon Gomes, who was with the team for the first seven weeks of the season before being optioned on May 20.

The move gives the Rays an eight-man bullpen and leaves the bench one player short, which Rays manager Joe Maddon explained is because relievers Jake McGee, Brad Boxberger, Joel Peralta and Grant Balfour have pitched a lot of innings recently.

"We're kind of strapped right now. A lot of long games. ... Jake's been extended, Boxy has, Peralta, Balfour has," Maddon said. "Going into tonight's game we had to protect ourselves."

Rangers: Claudio joins Rangers bullpen
The Rangers called up left-handed reliever Alex Claudio from Triple-A Round Rock on Wednesday when they placed Darvish on the disabled list. Claudio is the 34th pitcher employed by the Rangers this season.

The Rangers are planning to make another roster move on Thursday because they are calling up Ross to start against the Rays. That doesn't necessarily mean that Claudio will go back to Round Rock.

Claudio gives the Rangers a second left-hander in the bullpen, something they haven't had since Ryan Feierabend was designated for assignment on Aug. 1. Right-handed relievers Phil Klein and Roman Mendez both have options if the Rangers want to keep two left-handers.

Worth noting
• Saturday's game between the Rays and Yankees game at Tropicana Field is sold out. Tickets for Sunday's game are limited. Saturday's sellout is the second of the season for the Rays.

• Tuesday night's 14-inning, 3-2 loss to the Rangers was the 44th time this season that the Rays have scored two runs or fewer in a game.

• Derek Holland is scheduled to pitch for Triple-A Round Rock on Thursday. It will be the fourth start on medical rehab assignment for Holland, who is still recovering from offseason knee surgery. He will likely throw 60-70 pitches.

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