Mark Lowe, Koji Uehara combine for three perfect innings
Some credit goes to starter Derek Holland mustering one final inning of work in the sixth. Rangers manager Ron Washington said Andruw Jones was originally going to be Holland’s last batter of the game in the fifth, but the 25-year-old lefty got Jones to a pop out to left, so Washington gave Holland one more inning of work.
What ultimately saved the bullpen for the remainder of the three-game series was stellar outings from lesser-used relievers Mark Lowe and Koji Uehara.
Lowe made his entrance in the top of the seventh and proceeded to strike out three in two perfect innings.
“I had everything,” Lowe said. “It was one of those days that everything was working and it was fun to pitch.”
Lowe’s last outing came almost a week earlier in the Rangers' 18-3 rout of Boston. Lowe, who has a 0.00 ERA through four innings pitched this season, has been working hard in the bullpen between appearances and focused on remaining mentally prepared to be called into action.
Lowe’s role Monday night was not lost on him, having been on the opposite side of a quality effort to save bullpen arms.
“I’ve been on the flip side of it where guys have saved me so I didn’t have to pitch and you have your best arms late in a close ball game,” Lowe said. “You have to tip your cap to those guys because they keep you fresh and give you a chance to get a day off.”
Uehara made quick work of the Yankees in the ninth, striking out Derek Jeter and Nick Swisher, and impressed Washington with the control of his splitter.
“It was good for [Uehara] and good for his confidence and good for both of us,” Lowe said.
Lowe and Uehara’s efforts enables Washington to use long reliever Scott Feldman as a spot starter Wednesday in the final game of the series.
The Rangers' bullpen currently ranks fifth in the league in ERA (2.33), leads the league with the fewest runs against (11), and is second in the American League in opponent's batting average (.222).
“We have a pretty good bullpen and it doesn’t matter who we bring in, they seem to do the job,” Washington said.
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