Friday, August 3, 2012
Texas pen shuts door on slugging Angels
By David Collier
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers' offense will receive most of the credit for Thursday's 15-9 series-tying victory over the Los Angeles Angels, and it should. But the Rangers bullpen also played a vital role in securing the win.
Rangers starter Ryan Dempster -- who was making his debut with Texas after being traded from the Chicago Cubs earlier in the week -- simply didn't have it. Neither did C.J. Wilson for L.A. The Rangers and Angels offenses were on a tear as both teams combined for 14 runs through the first four innings. Both Dempster and Wilson were knocked out early, going 4 2/3 and 5 1/3 innings, respectively.
It was up to bullpens to put be the offensive stopper, and it was the Rangers' that came through.
"It was a big outing for the bullpen," Mike Adams said. "Everybody that came in there did a great job. It's very important, especially against a team like (the Angels), to keep our boys in the game. The main thing is just to give the boys a chance to put some runs on the board."
Robbie Ross, Roy Oswalt, Adams and Joe Nathan combined to give up one run on four hits with four strikeouts in the final 4 1/3 innings to shut down the Angels offense and give the Rangers a win.
However, no one in that bullpen was bigger than Oswalt.
The wily veteran, who was moved from the starting rotation to the bullpen earlier in the week, was huge for Texas, allowing just two hits with two strikeouts in two innings of work. It was just the 14th relief appearance of Oswalt's career and the first since Oct. 3, 2010 at Atlanta. It was also the first relief outing of at least two innings since May 22, 2001 against San Diego.
"He's a professional, a veteran," manager Ron Washington said. "Once he takes that mound, pride factor kicks in. He certainly did a good job for us those two innings he was out there. We certainly needed it, and he gave it to us. He is the reason why we had a chance to win the game. He kept us right there."
The Rangers offense took a lead they did not relinquish with a four-run seventh inning to give Oswalt the win -- which was his first relief win since Aug. 24, 2004 against the Phillies.
Adams had a 1-2-3 eighth inning before Nathan ran into a bit of trouble in the ninth. He recorded the first two outs quickly before allowing a solo home run, a single and a walk. Nathan, then, settled down and ended the game with a strikeout.