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Chi Chi Set for Spot Start

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    Chi Chi Gonzalez #21 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the Kansas City Royals in the first inning at Kauffman Stadium on June 5, 2015 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Kyle Rivas/Getty Images)

    The beginning of Chi Chi Gonzalez's big-league career couldn't have gone much better.

    In his debut against Boston, he took a no-hitter into the sixth inning. His next start against the best team in the American League, the Royals, ended with him celebrating the final out on the mound in a complete-game shutout.

    His next two starts were really solid, as well, as he allowed one run in seven innings against Oakland and then just two runs in 8 1/3 against the Dodgers after he took a shutout into the ninth inning.

    After that, however, the wheels got wobbly and three starts later he was sent down to the minors after an awful outing on July 3.

    Now, Gonzalez is back, as he'll make a spot start on Thursday afternoon against the Twins due to Cole Hamels being scratched with groin soreness. In the month that he's been back in Round Rock, Gonzalez has been decent, and he's been really good his last time out.

    The Rangers obviously preferred to leave Gonzalez down at least until September call-ups, but it was between he and Anthony Ranaudo to be called upon for the spot start, and the team is rightly more comfortable with Chi Chi.

    If things go well for Gonzalez, he could earn another extended look at the expense of a struggling Nick Martinez, but that would also depend on Hamels' health and whether he's able to make his next start next week.