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Rangers send three pitchers to minor leagues

Updated:
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. (AP) _ Rob Bell, who started 18 games for Texas last season, was one of three pitchers the Rangers sent down to the minor leagues Saturday.

Bell, a right-hander 5-5 with a 7.18 ERA last season, was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma. Left-hander Mario Ramos and right-hander Dan Murray, non-roster players, were assigned to the minor league camp.

The Rangers have 43 players left in camp, including 25 pitchers.

In his only spring appearance, Bell faced four batters in one inning and earned a save. He was a candidate as a long reliever and spot starter, rather than the five-man starting rotation.

Ramos came to Texas from Oakland in a six-player trade in January. He was the minor league player of the year for the Athletics after going 16-4 with a 3.10 ERA in 28 starts last season at Double-A Midland and Triple-A Sacramento, and was expected to challenge for a spot on the Rangers staff.

``It was the same thing as Rob Bell, there are people ahead of him,'' manager Jerry Narron said. ``He's got to pitch, and this spring he didn't have the luxury to go out every five days and get himself in a regular routine.''

Ramos is 24, just a year younger than Bell.

In two spring outings, Ramos gave up four runs (three earned) in five innings. He struck out two and walked four.

Murray, who signed as a free agent, finished two games, allowing one run in two innings.
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