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Righty relievers struggling this spring

3/17/2011

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- It was a bad night for the Rangers’ bullpen.

That’s starting to become a trend this spring.

Who cares about Seth McClung blowing the lead in the ninth inning of the 11-10 marathon loss to the Rockies? He doesn’t figure into the Rangers’ plans this season.

Mark Lowe and Darren O’Day do. That makes their poor performances noteworthy, if not reason for concern.

Lowe got rocked, plain and simple. Colorado scored four runs on five hits and one walk in Lowe’s lone inning. His spring ERA is an unsightly 10.50.

After missing most of last season with back trouble, Lowe is throwing hard, hitting 97 mph Wednesday night. But he’s also getting hit hard, having allowed 11 hits in six innings.

O’Day, the righty side-armer who has played a key role in the Rangers’ bullpen the last two seasons, has a 6.00 ERA and is allowing two hits per inning this spring. The Rockies scored two runs on five hits in two innings against O’Day.

“It’s spring training,” manager Ron Washington said, dismissing the subject of the righty relievers’ struggles. “They’ve got a track record. I’m certainly not going to get in a panic mode already.”