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Saturday, March 16, 2013
Harrison strong in return from injury

By Ron Matejko

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Not only did Matt Harrison show no signs of going two weeks between starts, he made his outing look easy.

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Fitzsimmons & Durrett are "Live in Surprise" all week for Rangers spring training. Pitcher Matt Harrison joins the guys to discuss the upcoming season.

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Harrison was dominant during the Rangers' 4-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday. The left-hander pitched six scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and striking out six. He threw 57 pitches, 41 for strikes. Harrison was so efficient, he threw extra pitches in the bullpen after his performance to further increase his pitch count.

"I'm not in a groove yet, it's only one game, but I feel like I am back on track," Harrison said. "It was a little deeper than the last two games I was in. You get to a point where it is deeper in the spring and you want to get that pitch count up a little bit. It feels good right now but I have to keep on improving."

The start was Harrison's first in an 'A' game since March 2, after missing his turn last Saturday with inflammation of his left toe. He was scheduled to go four or five innings depending on his stamina and pitch count. Neither was a problem for Harrison, who retired his final 14 batters after allowing a single to the first batter of the game. The second hitter reached on an error.

"It's big for the confidence. It shows me that I'm being aggressive, pounding the strike zone and making them swing the bat," Harrison said. "You do that and more times than not you're going to have some good outings."

Harrison also experienced no issues with his toe, which was tested on a couple of defensive plays where he had to move fast to react to the action. He also had no problems with his delivery and said he felt the best he has all spring.

"I feel like its back to normal -- keeping that back foot down, being able to drag my foot again and I feel like my legs are under me again," Harrison said. "The biggest thing is I feel like my velocity is up again.

"The mechanics are back to where they were before the injury. When I had the injury I was picking my foot up too quick and I started overcompensating with my upper body. My velocity started dropping and I put more stress on the arm but today is the best it has been thus far this spring."