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Scheppers ready to start without pitch limit

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- In order to get everyone in the game, Tanner Scheppers wasn't able to pitch for an entire inning in Sunday's Futures Game.

But he did come in with no one on base and one out in the ninth. He faced Eury Perez, an outfielder in the Washington organization, and gave up a single to right field. Scheppers then got catcher Chun Chen, playing the Cleveland's Class A affiliate, to fly out to left. He got ahead 0-2 on Pittsburgh's Gorkys Hernandez (a Double-A outfielder), but couldn't find the strike zone after that and allowed a walk. He got Luis Jimenez, from the Angels organization, to fly out to right to end the game.

Scheppers touched 101 mph on the stadium radar gun once and hit 98 mph several times during his brief appearance.

Scheppers, 23 was excited about playing in the game because he grew up in the area and went to Fresno State.

"I went to games here and it was neat to play here," Scheppers said. "I know I had at least 40 family members or friends. So that was neat."

Scheppers said he's scheduled to start on July 15.

"And it's full go," Scheppers said. "I won't have any pitch counts to worry about from what I understand."

Scheppers has been stretched out as a starter and said he feels strong. He's focused on making his changeup more effective and said it's the best it's been in his career.

He should be fun to watch as a starter in the second half of the season.