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04/27/08 1:46 PM ET

Rangers like what they saw in Ponson

Veteran starter to remain in rotation for at least one more turn

ARLINGTON -- Veteran right-hander Sidney Ponson is going to stay in the rotation for a while.

That's the verdict after the Rangers liked what they saw on Saturday night when Ponson allowed just one earned run over 5 1/3 innings in a 12-6 loss to the Twins at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Ponson's next start will be on Thursday afternoon against the Royals.

"Right now, he's still here," manager Ron Washington said before Sunday's game with the Twins. "He was good last night. He proved he could pitch. He worked fast and got ground balls. And he's pitched in the big leagues before. He's got experience."

The Rangers have decided that Jason Jennings will stay on his normal four days' rest and start on Tuesday against the Royals. He'll be followed by Kevin Millwood, Ponson and Vicente Padilla.

That leaves the Rangers looking for a starter on Saturday against the Athletics in Oakland, and the leading candidate could be left-hander A.J. Murray, who is 2-0 with a 4.00 ERA in five starts for the RedHawks.

"We'd like to have a left-hander against that team," Washington said.

That spot will likely be filled by Kason Gabbard when it comes up again on May 8 against the Mariners in Seattle. Gabbard, on the disabled list with a strained muscle in his back, threw on flat ground on Sunday and said he only has minor stiffness. He is scheduled to throw off a mound on Wednesday and then start for Double-A Frisco on Saturday on a rehabilitation assignment.

That would put him on schedule to return to the rotation on May 8 against the Mariners.

"I threw flat ground, and it didn't bother me at all," Gabbard said. "Throwing off the mound will be different because it's a different angle, but it's still feeling better. I'll throw Wednesday and go from there."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.