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Despite rotation's struggles, 'opener' strategy is a non-starter for Shildt, for now

From its popularization in Tampa Bay to use elsewhere in the majors, the “opener” has spread a strategy of using a reliever to start the game and have a traditional starter follow in the second inning or later. On Friday, the Rangers started reliever Jose Leclerc with the sole intention of having him face the top of the Cardinals’ lineup so that planned starter Adrian Sampson could get deeper into the game before facing hitters for a third time. The gambit worked because Sampson got into the seventh inning.

For the first time this season, former Cardinals’ first-round pick Shelby Miller is scheduled to pitch in relief Sunday in hopes that it is his way back into the Rangers’ rotation.