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Hurley back in majors after three-year absence

The SportsXchange

It was a long road back for Eric Hurley.

A first-round draft pick in 2004 and once the top-ranked pitching prospect in the Texas Rangers system, Hurley has not pitched in the big leagues since July 2008. He has another chance after the Los Angeles Angels recalled him from Class AAA Salt Lake.

He has endured a long list of injuries, topped by shoulder surgery in 2009. Hurley made his major league debut by going 1-2 in five starts for the Rangers in 2008, then did not pitch for the next two years.

"Last night, I woke my wife up quick and said, 'Hey, you're not going to believe this -- we've got to pack,'" Hurley said of getting the call Thursday night after the Angels demoted Garrett Richards. "Hard to sleep after that."

The Angels will need a starter for Sunday's game against the Orioles when Dan Haren's spot in the rotation comes up. Haren went on the disabled list earlier this week with a lower back problem.

However, manager Mike Scioscia indicated Hurley was promoted to give the bullpen a long option. Poor performances by the starting pitchers this week have taxed the relief corps.

The Angels are still "digging through" their options for Sunday, Scioscia said.

Hurley was 7-7 with a 5.38 ERA in 17 starts for Salt Lake, already pitching more innings in 2012 than he has in any year since 2008.

"That was my goal at the beginning of the season -- I told myself if I can take the ball every fifth day, I had a shot at pitching in the big leagues," he said. "That's what I did. And here I am."
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