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Hobbled Saunders confident in making next start

ST. PETERSBURG -- Rangers pitcher Joe Saunders was still hobbling a little bit on Saturday, one day after getting hit in the left ankle by a line drive. But Saunders was able to play catch on the field and is still hopeful he can make his next start.

"It's a little swollen," Saunders said. "Not a lot, but a little bit. We've got some color in there. I think it's just bruised. It's not great, but it's OK."

Saunders' next start would be Friday against the Astros in Arlington. That's also one day after the Rangers have to make a decision whether to add pitcher Colby Lewis to the active roster. Lewis is scheduled to pitch on Sunday for Triple-A Round Rock against Oklahoma City. Lewis can take his free agency if not on the active roster by April 10.

"We'll see how he does tomorrow," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "Let him pitch his game and then make a decision. Right now, I'm thinking how to get [Saturday starter] Nick Martinez through his game. I can't give you an answer because it's not something I have been thinking about."

Martinez started on Saturday, and the Rangers are activating Yu Darvish off the disabled list to pitch on Sunday. Tanner Scheppers, Martin Perez and Robbie Ross Jr are scheduled to start in the three-game series against the Red Sox, and the Rangers are off on Thursday. That gives Saunders two extra days to recover from getting hit by Evan Longoria's fourth-inning line drive on Friday.

"I'll be ready to pitch on Wednesday on my normal four days' rest," Saunders said.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger.
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