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Rangers ace Jacob deGrom leaves start with sore right wrist

MLB: Texas Rangers at Kansas City Royals

Apr 17, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) delivers a pitch against the Kansas City Royals during the first inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Texas Rangers ace Jacob deGrom left his start against the Kansas City Royals after four hitless innings because of a sore right wrist.

The team said deGrom was removed as a precaution. He struck out five and walked one, throwing 39 of his 58 pitches for strikes. Two relievers finished a one-hitter for the Rangers in a 4-0 victory.

“I felt it a little bit warming up,” deGrom said. “I thought it was going to loosen up and it actually tightened up a little bit as the game went on.

“We’re playing it smart. Could I have kept going? Probably. But it was lingering and it got a little bit worse as the game went on. I just want to play it safe. We’ve got a long season ahead of us.”

Beset by injuries the past two seasons with the New York Mets, the two-time NL Cy Young Award winner signed a five-year, $185 million contract with Texas as a free agent in December.

The right-hander is 1-0 with a 3.48 ERA in four starts for the Rangers.

“I’m honestly not too concerned,” deGrom said. “I would like to think I’ll make my next (start), but we’ll see how it is tomorrow.”

The last time deGrom started more than 15 games in a season was 2019 with the Mets.

Texas manager Bruce Bochy said there’s concern any time you have to take a player out of a game because of injury, but he’s optimistic.

“We’ll re-evaluate him tomorrow,” Bochy said. “Any time you take somebody out, that’s a fair question. I think I can answer it better tomorrow. Right now, I feel pretty good about it.”

The only baserunners deGrom permitted came on an error by first baseman Nathaniel Lowe in the third and a walk to Vinnie Pasquantino in the fourth.

Josh Jung launched a three-run homer in the first and Marcus Semien added a solo shot in the third. Dane Dunning (1-0) struck out five and walked none in 4 1/3 innings of relief.

Matt Duffy’s one-out single in the fifth off Dunning was Kansas City’s only hit. José Leclerc got two outs to end it.