Veterans Oliver, Rhodes nail down win

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Interesting bullpen dynamics going on with the Rangers these days.

In Wednesday’s 7-6 win over Toronto, there was 41-year-old reliever Arthur Rhodes holding a lead with a scoreless eighth inning.

Closing the door in the ninth for his second save of the season was 40-year-old closer Darren Oliver.

And the beneficiary of it all?

A reliever at the other end of the experience specturm. Cody Eppley, 25, making only his second major league appearance, earned his first big league win.

With Neftali Feliz still a week away from being eligible to come off the DL, manager Ron Washington takes comfort in his two bullpen 40-somethings.

“At that point,’’ said manager Ron Washington, “we had the right people on the mound.’’

Rhodes pitched a quick eighth, marred only by a walk.

Oliver retired the first two he faced in the ninth, but consecutive singles set up a dramatic dual against Edwin Encarnacion. Oliver eventually ended it with a strikeout.

“I never though I’d be pitching in my 40s,’’ said Oliver. “Any time I get to pitch is icing on the cake for me.’’

Roles have changed for Rangers relievers that have remained healthy.

Oliver and Rhodes, who have lockers next to each other at Rangers Ballpark, were considered setup men for Feliz until the closer’s right shoulder inflammation. Another potential setup guy, right-hander Darren O'Day, was moved to the 60-day DL on Wednesday with a torn labrum in his left hip that requires surgery.

“We’ve got the young guys in the pen for early in the game and the veterans for late,’’ said Rhodes. “Darren and I have been out there a long time and we know how to prepare.’’

Washington doesn’t see age as a problem with his veteran relievers, not when they pitch no longer than an inning.

Rhodes said he is durable.

“I can pitch three days in a row. Of course, I’d need two days off after that,’’ Rhodes said with a grin.