Blister pulls Matt Harrison after six

May, 28, 2011
5/28/11
9:43
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The reason Rangers starter Matt Harrison was pulled after his six innings of work against Kansas City was a blister on his left index finger.

Harrison said he noticed it after the fifth inning. When he finished the sixth, he notified the training and coaching staffs.

Rangers president and CEO Nolan Ryan looked at Harrison's finger in a room behind the dugout and recommended that the left hander leave the game.

"It was a blood blister," said Harrison, who earned his fifth win of the season in the Rangers' 10-1 victory over the Royals on Saturday. "I went back after the sixth and it started getting bigger and bigger and I wanted to go out after the seventh, but I guess they consulted with Nolan and they said to shut it down and get it taken care of so I won't miss a start."

In his last two starts, Harrison has pitched wonderfully.

Last Sunday in Philadelphia, Harrison pitched 8 1/3 innings, allowing just five hits and no runs. But he walked three and left the game with a 2-0 lead. Harrison said he pitched better in the win over the Phillies because his fastball was hitting its spots more and he was getting ahead of hitters.

Saturday night, his fastball wasn't as sharp, yet he went with some off-speed pitches to keep the Royals off balance. Harrison has pitched 16 1/3 scoreless innings over his last three starts and his victory over the Royals marked the first time he's won consecutive starts since April 9 and 15.

But the blister could be a problem moving forward. Alexi Ogando, who pitches the finale of this three-game series, has dealt with blister problems all season.

The training staff and Ryan, who endured blisters during his career, have been keeping tabs on Ogando. Starters C.J. Wilson, Ogando and Harrison take a supplement, Coenzyme Q-10, that contains antioxidant properties to help with energy.

Wilson and Ogando also use a laser-type device on the skin to help prevent blisters.

"He’s maintained it as well as he can and I'm going to try and do the same thing," Harrison said of Ogando's blister problem. "The last time I had a blister was probably five years ago so it’s been a while. I don’t know if it had something to do with it [being] so humid out there. Today, I kept touching my hat and my fingers kept getting wet. I guess rubbing on the seams and stuff I guess it kinda popped up on me."
Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Martin Perez
WINS ERA SO IP
2 2.70 12 20
OTHER LEADERS
BAE. Andrus .305
HRE. Andrus 1
RBIA. Rios 7
RE. Andrus 8
OPSS. Choo .776
ERAY. Darvish 0.82
SOY. Darvish 23