ARLINGTON, Texas -- With injuries to three starting pitchers, the Rangers bullpen has gotten extra work. The Rangers are without Neftali Feliz, Derek Holland and Colby Lewis. And relief pitchers Alexi Ogando and Koji Uehara are also on the disabled list.
"It's just going along the lines of what we talked about since spring training," closer Joe Nathan said Friday before the second game of this four-game series with Oakland. "Being as deep as we are, we just have to keep the fort down when guys go down."
Nathan has pitched the last three games and four of the last five on this homestand. Mike Adams has appeared in four of the last five games and three straight. The relievers have given up just 11 earned runs in the last six games (3.81 ERA).
"It's definitely being tested," Nathan said of the pen. "With that being said, hopefully these guys will get healthy."
Nathan said he wasn't sure if he would be available to pitch Friday night, but manager Ron Washington noted when the game is close, the closer and Adams raise their hands and say let me in.
"We're in the middle of some monsoon season," Nathan joked about the use of the bullpen.
Notes: The Rangers took batting practice inside for the third time in the last four days and will go back outside Saturday. With high temperatures sweeping North Texas, the Rangers are mindful how much they work out outside. "Get used to the climate and used to the heat," Washington said. "But you don't have to hit out there every day." ... Uehara and Ogando made long tosses, from 120-to-160 feet Friday and hope to pitch from the mound next week in Chicago. Feliz also long tossed but isn't ready to pitch on a mound yet. Washington was coy regarding what the team will do with Feliz when he returns from the 60-day disabled list. He said he doesn't need to make a decision now because Feliz isn't close to returning. But if the Rangers have five solid starting pitchers, the club could move Feliz back to the bullpen as a setup man. ... Before the game, the A's recalled first baseman Chris Carter from Triple-A Sacramento and optioned right-handed pitcher Tyson Ross to Sacramento. Carter is batting seventh in the Oakland lineup Friday night.