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Texas Rangers starting Joe Saunders against Tampa Bay Rays

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The Texas Rangers continue to field a scary pitching rotation as they head into the first game of their series with the Tampa Bay Rays. According to 1340 The Fan on April 4, Joe Saunders gets his first start with the Rangers on the game tonight.

After starting three very young pitchers in the Philadelphia Phillies series, and coming out of that 2-1, the Rangers now send a veteran pitcher who just came off the worst season of his career.

In 2013, Saunders pitched for the Seattle Mariners and finished the year with an 11-16 record and a 5.26 ERA. His career ERA is 4.30, while playing nine seasons with the Los Angeles Angels, Arizona Diamondbacks, Baltimore Orioles and Seattle. His ERA has only dipped below 4.00 twice in his career.

Texas gave Saunders a one-year deal that could pay him up to $3.65 million if he hits all the incentives in his contract, but he is only getting paid a base salary of $1.5 million. His incentives include remaining with the Rangers for 90 days and hitting certain innings goals.

After a rocky first game, where Texas gave up 14 runs in an Opening Day loss to the Phillies, the pitching staff only gave up five runs combined in the next two games.

The Tampa Bay Rays will start Jake Odorizzi, who they acquired from the Kansas City Royals in a 2012 trade. In his one season with the Rays, Odorizzi started four games and finished 0-1 with a 3.94 ERA.

The Texas Rangers vs. Tampa Bay Rays first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. EST.

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