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Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Pitching doing the job during win streak

By Richard Durrett

The spotlight for the Rangers has been the offense, especially as it failed to produce any kind of consistent run support for its pitchers during a six-game losing streak earlier this month. But the reality is that the pitching wasn’t a whole lot better as the club limped to a 4-7 homestand that finished with a big series win over the Oakland A’s.

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But during this five-game winning streak, one that has put the Rangers back in sole possession of first place in the AL West, the pitching has done an excellent job of holding the opposition down, meaning the Rangers haven’t had to have a bunch of runs from the bats. The latest example was Sunday night, when Texas scored two runs – both in the seventh – and held on for a 2-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals.

During this winning streak, the staff has posted a 2.80 ERA. Starting pitching, including a nice outing by Nick Tepesch on Sunday night, has a 3.64 ERA, a vast improvement over the 6.25 ERA the rotation had in the six-game losing streak to Cleveland and Toronto at home.

The bullpen has been the bigger story, allowing just two runs in 15 1/3 innings of work. With the lead late, manager Ron Washington has been able to line up the relievers just like he wants and is getting results.

So while the offense has certainly come to life a bit, don’t forget that it still takes arms to get this done. And in this five-game stretch, including series wins over two of the better teams in the league in Oakland and St. Louis, those arms have done the job.