Texas Rangers: Marco Scutaro
Nathan entered the ninth inning to preserve a 4-0 shutout that had been kept alive collectively by Matt Harrison, Robbie Ross, Tanner Scheppers and Mike Adams. But after a leadoff single, a walk and a hit batter, Nathan found himself in a bases-loaded jam. Then an RBI single from Marco Scutaro and RBI sac fly with no outs from Carlos Gonzalez -- a laser that only needed a few more feet to clear Josh Hamilton and the left-center field wall for a go-ahead grand slam -- put the Rangers in danger of choking the game away.
Nathan got more help when Scutaro was caught in a 2-3-6 rundown and was called out at second, but only after Scutaro was initially waved safe as he slid in under the tag of shortstop Elvis Andrus. However, Scutaro, apparently thinking he was out, popped up off the bag and Andrus tagged him to officially record the second out.
Nathan then was able to get Jason Giambi swinging on a 1-2 slider.
"I've always said it’s not going to be sharp all the time," Nathan said. "You’re going to have to go out there and fight and tonight was definitely a dog fight against very good hitters."
Nathan may not be sharp all the time, but he certainly has been most of the time. Before Sunday, Nathan had not allowed a run in the ninth inning since May 13 against the Los Angeles Angels (16 games). It was only the second time that he has allowed two runs all season -- the only other time coming when he allowed three runs against Seattle on April 11.
Nathan, who didn't get the save because it was a four-run lead when he entered, isn't stressing about Sunday's performance, his worse in a long time. He saw his streak of 16 scoreless innings in his last 16 appearances come to an end.
"I’m happy with what we were able to do," Nathan said. "We were able to walk away with the win, keep our lead where it is and we’ll come back tomorrow and start with Detroit.”
Harrison (9-3, 3.41): The 26-year-old has the best record on the Rangers' pitching staff and is tied with Yu Darvish (9-4) for the staff lead in wins. ... Harrison's nine wins are tied for the most in the AL and tied for third-most in the MLB. ... He is on a five-game winning streak that lowered his season ERA from 5.21 to 3.41. ... He has allowed a team-high 93 hits but just seven home runs and 22 walks through 92 1/3 IP (second-most on team). ... He is 7-1 in night games with a 1.99 ERA through 63 1/3 innings. ... He has been at his best in June, going 3-0 with a 1.24 ERA in four starts. ... He has allowed one home run in his last seven starts, with the lone shot coming June 3 against the Los Angeles Angels. ... He is 2-1 with a 2.77 ERA in four career starts against the NL West. ... He has never faced the Rockies.
White (2-5, 6.06): The 23-year-old has struggled on the road in his second season in the majors, going 1-2 with a 7.52 ERA over four starts and striking out nine through 20 1/3 innings. ... He has a 5.75 ERA in June and has made one start in the last seven days, allowing five hits and five earned runs in 3 2/3 innings against the Phillies. ... He has allowed opposing hitters a .293 batting average in 198 at-bats this season. ... He is 0-3 against the AL West this season with a 4.24 ERA in those three starts. ... He has never faced the Rangers.
Hitters: Current Rockies hitters are 6-for-15 (.400) against Harrison. ... Marco Scutaro has the most experience against Harrison, going 3-for-9 with a double, four RBIs, three walks and two strikeouts. ... Carlos Gonzalez is 1-for-2 with a walk. ... Michael Cuddyer is 2-for-4 with a double and three walks. ... Alberto Gonzalez (0-for-2) is the only Ranger to face White.
Mon. vs. Det.: RHP Justin Grimm (1-0, 4.50) vs. RHP Rick Porcello (4-5, 4.95), 7:05 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/FSSW
Tue. vs. Det.: RHP Yu Darvish (9-4, 3.45) vs. TBA, 7:05 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/FSSW/MLBN
Wed. vs. Det.: RHP Roy Oswalt (1-0, 1.35) vs. RHP Doug Fister (1-4, 2.72), 7:00 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/FSSW/ESPN
Lewis (6-5, 3.00): The 32-year-old is making his 15th start of the year. ... Has never faced the Rockies. ... He is 3-2 with a 2.25 ERA in his last six starts. ... Has allowed two earned runs or less in each of his four starts in June. ... He has thrown complete games in two of his last three starts. ... Has had seven consecutive quality starts in interleague play. ... Leads the American League with an average of 1.1 walks per nine innings pitched. ... Also ranks in the top-10 in innings (6th, 96.0), strikeouts (9th, 84) and opponents average (9th, .231). ... He holds a 2.17 ERA at home this season in seven starts. ... Also has a 2.70 ERA in day games this year.
Outman (0-3, 8.41): The 27-year-old is making just his fifth start of the season. ... Made his first start of the season June 1 after making eight appearances out of the bullpen. ... He has 29 career starts spread out over four seasons. ... Has 15 quality starts in his career to go along with a 8-9 record and a 4.22 ERA. ... He is making his fifth career start against the Rangers. ... In his previous four starts against Texas, he is 1-1 with a 4.43 ERA. ... Allowed three runs or less in three of the four starts against the Rangers. ... All of his losses have come on the road where he holds a 13.50 ERA.
Hitters: Current Rangers are 16-of-52 against Outman (.308). ... Nelson Cruz is 4-for-7 with three RBIs and three doubles. ... Michael Young is 3-for-11. ... Adrian Beltre is 2-for-8 with two RBIs, a home run and a double. ... Current Rockies are 10-for-35 off Lewis (.286). ... Jason Giambi is 5-for-7 with two RBIs, a home run and two doubles. ... Michael Cuddyer is 4-for-13 with five RBIs, a home run and a double. ... Marco Scutaro is 1-for-14 with an RBI.
Sun. vs. Col.: LHP Matt Harrison (9-3, 3.41) vs. RHP Alex White (2-5, 6.06), 6:05 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/FSSW
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Roy Oswalt’s Rangers debut went remarkably well.
Oswalt had more success against the Colorado Rockies than he did any of the four minor league teams he faced over the last month while getting ready to join the Rangers. He allowed one earned run on nine hits and one walk in 6 2/3 innings to earn the win.
The 34-year-old righthander, who struck out six, painted the black on both sides of the plate while mixing a low-90s fastball, low-80s changeup and looping, low-60s curveball. Oswalt consistently got ahead in the count, throwing strikes on 81 of his 110 pitches.
The sellout crowd of 46,964 gave Oswalt a standing ovation as he left the mound after allowing an RBI to Marco Scutaro with two outs in the seventh inning. Oswalt, who left with a 4-0 lead, didn’t tip his cap. If anything, he appeared annoyed that he allowed a run.
Robbie Ross, Mike Adams and Joe Nathan pitched 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief to preserve the win for Oswalt.
Seven strong: The Rangers’ pitching staff has allowed only 15 earned runs during the team's seven-game winning streak, recording a 2.14 ERA in that span. It is the second time this season that the Rangers have allowed three or fewer earned runs in seven consecutive games, matching the streak from April 12 to 19.
Nothing against Nathan: Nathan continues to be about as dominant as a closer can be. He has retired 45 of the last 53 batters he has faced after a throwing a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts against the Rockies to record his 16th save. This was his 16th consecutive scoreless appearance, striking out 21 in 16 innings.
Beltre’s bat stays hot: Adrian Beltre’s groove continued with an opposite-field, two-run homer in his first at-bat, when he battled back from 0-2 to work the count full. He followed with a single in his next at-bat and scored on Nelson Cruz's double to the left-center gap. Beltre is 14-for-29 with three homers and 10 RBIs in the last eight games.
Napoli needed it: Mike Napoli snapped an 0-for-13 skid in style with his opposite-field solo homer in the fourth inning. It was only the second hit for Napoli in a span of 25 at-bats. Napoli, who leads American League catchers in All-Star voting, has numbers that are nearly identical to his pre-break production last season.
Tidbits: The Rangers are a season-high 17 games above .500. Their 44-27 record is the best in club history at this point of a season. … Michael Young's extended slump continued with an 0-for-3 night. The Rangers’ all-time hits leader is 4-for-31 in the last eight games and is hitting .229 (50-for-218) in the last 54 games. Young’s average has fallen from .414 to .268 in that stretch, which accounts for one-third of a season. … Josh Hamilton went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts and misplayed two extra-base hits in left field. ... Ian Kinsler's streak of 11 straight stolen bases ended when he was picked off first in the fifth. … Yorvit Torrealba was thrown out on a bang-bang play at home plate by Carlos Gonzalez in the second inning when he tried to score on a Craig Gentry single to left field. … The Rangers matched their club record, set in 1994, with their 21st sellout of the season. There are 4,500 reserved tickets available for Saturday afternoon’s game and 1,000 available for Sunday’s game.
Here are the lineups:
2B Ian Kinsler
SS Elvis Andrus
LF Josh Hamilton (L)
DH Adrian Beltre
3B Michael Young
RF Nelson Cruz
1B Mike Napoli
C Yorvit Torrealba
CF Craig Gentry
CF Dexter Fowler (S)
2B Marco Scutaro
LF Carlos Gonzalez
DH Jason Giambi (L)
RF Michael Cuddyer
1B Todd Helton (L)
3B Chris Nelson
C Wilin Rosario
SS Jonathan Herrera
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The final game of this four-game series with the Red Sox matches RHP Alexi Ogando against LHP Andrew Miller. The game is at 7:05 p.m. on FSSW and ESPN 103.3 FM. A quick look:
Ogando (12-5, 3.30 ERA): He's trying to become just the ninth Rangers right-hander to win 13 games over the last 10 seasons. ...He took a no-decision Saturday in Chicago, allowing two runs on six hits in seven innings to the White Sox. The Rangers lost, 3-2. ...He has pitched into the seventh inning in three of his last four outings. ...Ogando has never started against Boston, but gave up one run in 4 1/3 innings in four relief appearances in 2010. ...He is 7-2 with a 3.33 ERA in 12 home starts.
Miller (5-1, 4.99 ERA): He allowed one run on three hits with two walks and three strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings in a win over the Royals on Friday. ...It was his first start in August, though he's made two relief appearances during the month. ...He made six starts in July, going 3-1 with a 6.28 ERA. ...This is Miller's first career start against the Rangers. ...He pitched one inning of relief against Texas on Sept. 13, 2006, while he was with the Tigers. ...Miller is 9-17 with a 6.06 ERA in his career on the road.
Hitters: The current Rangers hitters are a combined 1-for-10 off Miller, with the injured Adrian Beltre having the only hit in six at-bats. ...Ian Kinsler is 0-for-1 and Yorvit Torrealba is 0-for-4. ...The Red Sox are 1-for-6 off Ogando. ...Marco Scutaro is 1-for-2 with a walk.
Fri. vs. LAA: LHP Derek Holland (11-5, 4.42) vs. RHP Dan Haren (13-6, 2.98), 7:05 p.m., 103.3/1540/TXA21/MLBN
Sat. vs LAA: LHP C.J. Wilson (13-5, 3.08) vs. TBD
Sun. vs. LAA: RHP Colby Lewis (11-9, 4.07) vs. TBD
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.
Play Podcast Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.