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Darvish OK Day After Early Exit

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    Yu Darvish reported no problems with his shoulder stiffness Thursday and is expected to return to his regular pitching schedule, beginning with a bullpen session Friday in Seattle. (file photo)

    The Texas Rangers got good news on Yu Darvish a day after the right-hander exited early with shoulder stiffness in his third start since last year's Tommy John surgery, and they activated catcher Robinson Chirinos from the 60-day disabled list for his return from a broken right forearm.

    Darvish reported no problems after playing catch Thursday and was expected to throw his regular bullpen session Friday in Seattle. If the former Japanese star stays on regular rest, his next start would be Monday in Oakland.

    Chirinos was available Thursday against Houston after the move was announced a few minutes before the game. The Rangers sent right-handed reliever Luke Jackson to Triple-A Round Rock and made room for Chirinos on the 40-man roster by designating right-hander Phil Klein for assignment.

    Texas had planned for Darvish to throw up to 95 pitches Wednesday after he won in each of his first two starts. But he threw only 76 pitches, with seven strikeouts and four walks before leaving with the game tied 1-1. The only run he allowed in his five innings was a homer to George Springer leading off the game, won by the Astros 3-1.

    Darvish was seen shaking his arm after the slow breaking pitch that struck out Springer for the second out of the fifth. After walk, there was a gathering on the mound that included pitching coach Doug Brocail, a trainer, the interpreter, the catcher and the entire Rangers infield.

    After throwing a couple of warmup pitches, Darvish stayed in and retired Carlos Correa on an inning-ending fly out. The Rangers said his exit was precautionary and that an examination by team physician Dr. Keith Meister revealed no issues.

    Chirinos last played at the Los Angeles Angels on April 9, when he was hit by a pitch from Garrett Richards in the fifth inning and sustained the fracture. He played six rehab games with Round Rock and Double-A Frisco, going 2-for-21.

    Texas' opening day catcher had a homer and two RBIs in five games before getting hurt.

    The Rangers are carrying three catchers for now, with manager Jeff Banister saying before the game that Chirinos and Bryan Holaday have experience at other positions. Banister has said Bobby Wilson earned the lead role while Chirinos was out. Holaday started against the Astros.

    Jackson allowed six runs in 7 2-3 innings over five appearances after being recalled from Round Rock in May.

    Texas has 10 days to trade, release or outright Klein to the minor leagues. He was 0-1 with a 5.19 ERA in eight relief appearances over two stints with the Rangers. He was optioned to Round Rock on May 6.