Rangers tab Matt Harrison as Opening Day starter

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The 2013 season will begin next Sunday night when the Rangers face the Astros at Minute Maid Park at 8:05 p.m. ET. And now we have the pitching matchup locked in.

According to Richard Durrett and Ron Matejko of ESPN Dallas, Rangers manager Ron Washington announced this evening that Matt Harrison will be the club’s Opening Day starter. Bud Norris was already announced as the starter for Houston earlier this week.

This will be the first Opening Day start of Harrison’s career. With a 3.34 ERA and 32 wins over the past two seasons, the 27-year-old southpaw is plenty worthy of the assignment.

Yu Darvish, who posted a 3.90 ERA and 221 strikeouts over 191 1/3 innings in his first season stateside last year, is set to pitch the second game of the season for the Rangers.

Michael Wacha leaves game with a left oblique strain

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Cardinals starter Michael Wacha suffered a strained left oblique muscle during his start this afternoon against the Phillies, causing him to leave in the fourth inning.

Wacha is 8-2 with a 3.20 ERA and a 71/36 K/BB ratio in 84.1 innings across 15 starts this season with St. Louis. To the extent he has to miss some time — and obliques invariably send starters to the disabled list — potential fill-in candidates include John Gant, Daniel Poncedeleon and Dakota Hudson.