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Gonzalez Looking to Build on Debut

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Andy Jacobsohn/The Dallas Morning News
    Texas Rangers pitcher Alex Gonzalez pitches in the eighth inning during a Major League Baseball spring training game against the Kansas City Royals at Surprise Stadium in Surprise, Arizona Wednesday March 4, 2015. The Royals beat the Rangers 13-2.

    Chi Chi Gonzalez had plenty of clamoring behind him when the season began to have him start the year on the big-league roster. He had a great spring training audition, but the Rangers felt he still needed a little more marinating down on the farm with the thought he'd be up at some point.

    Then, Gonzalez went to Triple-A Round Rock and proceeded to stink up the joint for the most part, making us all hold our breaths when he was forced up on Saturday night to take the Ross Detwiler/Phil Klein spot in the rotation that was opened up due to injury and ineffectiveness.

    All Gonzalez did in his big-league debut was go out and take a no-hitter into the sixth inning against the Boston Red Sox, who despite their struggles this year still have a pretty formidable lineup. He threw 102 pitches and lasted just 5 2/3 innings, struggling at times with his command with five walks to go with just two strikeouts. But he allowed just two hits, was a calm and collected for a 23-year-old making his debut under the bright lights.

    Now, Gonzalez will try to make his second start after all the adrenaline and feel-good has worn off from his sterling debut, and he'll do it against a Royals lineup that is ice cold at the moment with their three top hitters — Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and Alex Gordon — all struggling.

    It could be a trap for Gonzalez, or it could be the right place at the right time for a guy still trying to feel his way through a big-league order. Whatever happens, it'll be must-see Rangers baseball, and that's just fun.