Bullpen gets results with new faces

August, 16, 2014
Aug 16
6:57
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- With so many new faces in the Rangers ' bullpen, manager Ron Washington is learning how best to get results.

Washington brought on left-hander Alex Claudio for the third straight game on Friday to get the final out of the eighth inning.

The manager added levity to the situation before handing Claudio the ball.

"I told him if he didn't get that lefty [Collin Cowgill] he would make me look bad," Washington said.

Claudio, who made his major league debut on Wednesday, got the out.

Right-handed reliever Jon Edwards debuted on Friday.

Phil Klein threw his first major league pitch on Aug. 1.

A fourth bullpen member, Roman Mendez, debuted on July 8.

Despite a lack of experience, the bullpen has an 0.51 ERA in its past four games to drop its season mark to 4.22, lowest since June 8.

Washington downplays the learning-curve aspect.

"We know from reports how many times they've gone back-to-back," the manager said.

Firsthand knowledge works, too. The Rangers used Klein for a 2⅔-inning outing Thursday. He struck out five and threw 34 pitches.

"Klein told us he has thrown 49 [pitches] before," the manager said.

Since regaining his closer role three weeks ago, Neftali Feliz has converted four of five save opportunities and lowered his earned run average from 3.12 to 2.45.

"He's been making good pitches," Washington said. "I’m not concerned about velocity. I'm concerned about getting outs. You don’t have to have a lot of velocity to make good pitches. With more good pitches and outs, confidence goes sky-high."

Moving on up: Leonys Martin, riding a four-game hitting streak, is elevated to the fifth spot tonight in Washington's batting order. In 72 starts this season, Martin has batted either seventh or eighth. Martin is 8-for-16 over his past four games with more hits than in his previous 16 games combined.

"I'd like to see Martin continue to get on base and score some runs. That’s the bottom line," Washington said.

Tarp time: Afternoon showers cancelled on-field pregame workouts for the Rangers and Los Angeles Angels but are not expected to delay tonight's scheduled 7:05 start at Globe Life Park. The grounds crew began removing the tarp at 6:10 p.m.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Colby Lewis
WINS ERA SO IP
10 5.18 133 170
OTHER LEADERS
BAA. Beltre .324
HRA. Beltre 19
RBIA. Beltre 77
RA. Beltre 79
OPSA. Beltre .879
ERAC. Lewis 5.18
SOY. Darvish 182