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Saturday, February 23, 2013
Does Cory Burns have home-field edge?

By Richard Durrett

SURPRISE, Ariz. – Cory Burns knows every time he toes the rubber – whether it’s a bullpen session, throwing to live hitters on the back fields or in a Cactus League game – someone who could determine his future in the Rangers’ bullpen is watching.

“That’s the way you want it,” said Burns, a 25-year-old right-hander with 18 innings of big league action to his name. “Every outing is competition for a spot. I’ve come to know most of the guys I’m competing against here and they are all great guys. We’re all friends, but when it comes down to it you’re competing for spots.”

Burns hopes he has a home-field advantage. He’s from Glendale and had a nice group of family members in attendance Friday.

“They come to all my games out here,” Burns said. “That’s nice.”

Burns, a sidearmer, worked a 1-2-3 inning late in Friday’s 5-5 tie with the Royals.

He said he’s comfortable, even though he’s with a new team.

“My body feels great. My arm feels great,” Burns said. “This is an awesome group of guys around here. You can go to Mike or Greg (Maddux) for information. I’m getting to learn things and compete for a spot. That’s all you want.”

Burns said the fact that he has one big-league spring training season under his belt with San Diego last year helps take some of the unknowns away.

“I know some of what to expect,” Burns said. “The biggest thing I learned was to stop the nerves. You have to stop going out there and trying to impress everyone. Just be yourself.”