Saturday, May 14, 2011
Darren Oliver has tough ninth
By Calvin Watkins
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers-Angels game turned in the ninth inning when reliever Darren Oliver couldn't retire Bobby Abreu or Maicer Izturis in a tie game.
Abreu drew a two-out walk after two close pitches -- one of which drew a checked swing -- but third base umpire Mike Muchlinski ruled that he held his swing. Oliver missed with a curve ball for ball four as Abreu checked his swing again.
"I think he may have went on that last pitch, " said Oliver who is now 1-4 on the season. "He's another tough hitter, he's patient at the plate. We've had our battles throughout the years, but he drew a walk and it was a good at bat for him."
Izturis was next and hit another curveball to left to drive in Jeff Mathis with the go-ahead run.
"First pitch he hit was a base hit," said Oliver, who pitched for the Angels from 2007-to-2009. "He's a good hitter I know. He's got some game on him. It's just a tough one to lose right there."
Oliver said he felt fresh despite pitching on consecutive days. He pitched the eighth inning of Friday night's win.