Bullpen solid in Rangers victory

Posted Thursday, Jul. 28, 2011  comments  Print Reprints
A

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

ARLINGTON -- Jon Daniels would like to add another player to the bullpen.

The Texas Rangers general manager is looking at all possible options, but hasn't made any deals.

"I can't say at this point if we will," Daniels said. "Nothing to report now, but things can change."

For a night, though, the bullpen wasn't an issue. Three relievers preserved another strong outing by Matt Harrison as the Rangers pulled out a 4-1 victory over the Twins on Thursday night at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Texas (60-46) maintained a two-game lead in the American League West over the Angels, who also won Thursday.

Harrison threw 7 1/3 innings of one-run ball, and looked like a veteran. Nothing seemed to faze him.

He gave up two-out hits in the third and fourth innings, but retired the next batters.

In the fifth, Jim Thome led off with a double to left-center, and, after getting two outs, Harrison found himself with the bases loaded with consecutive infield hits. But he ended that threat with a fielder's choice groundout by Tsuyoshi Nishioka.

Harrison allowed his only run in the sixth, but it could've been worse. With two on and no out, Jason Kubel grounded into a double play. After an RBI single by Thome, Harrison got out of the jam.

Minimizing damage is something Harrison has become more confident about throughout the season.

"You just have to keep executing pitches," Harrison said. "I learned my lesson from the two games against Toronto and Oakland earlier in the year. I wanted to make sure I kept making my pitches."

Harrison would work into the eighth inning -- outdueling Twins starter Scott Baker -- for the third time in his past four starts before his night ended with a one-out walk to Joe Mauer. He handed over a 2-1 lead to the bullpen, which kept it intact.

Yoshinori Tateyama struck out the lone batter he faced, Michael Cuddyer. And Arthur Rhodes avenged a two-run home run he gave up to Jason Kubel on Monday by getting him to fly out to end the eighth.

"From what he did the other night, for me, it was like payback," said Rhodes, whose ERA rose a full run to 5.09 after Monday's game. "Today, I had a good slider and came through."

The Rangers cushioned their lead with two unearned runs in the eighth. With two outs, Josh Hamilton tripled and Michael Young drew an intentional walk.

Nelson Cruz reached on an error by Twins third baseman Danny Valencia, a play that scored Hamilton. Mitch Moreland then brought in Young with a single to center.

"It's big to put some extra runs on the board because you never know what's going to happen in this game," manager Ron Washington said.

Especially two nights after Neftali Feliz blew his fifth save of the season, prompting Washington to say he needed to see more "fire" out of his closer.

Feliz unleashed his fire, throwing 98 mph fastballs, along with crisp off-speed pitches, in a perfect ninth for his 21st save.

"What happened last time, I always forget it," Feliz said. "I just came 100 percent sure I had to do my job and do my best. That's what I think. I never worry about last time."

And, at least for a night, the Rangers didn't have to worry about their bullpen.

Drew Davison, 817-390-7760

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?





Thursday, November 20Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Thursday, November 20Full Scoreboard
LA Clippers «110Final | Box
Miami93
Chicago88Final | Box
Sacramento «103
Full Scoreboard
Week 12Full Scoreboard
Thursday
Kansas City20Final | Box
Oakland «24Gridiron Replay
Sunday
Cleveland 1:00 PM ET
Atlanta TV: CBS
Tampa Bay 1:00 PM ET
Chicago TV: FOX
Cincinnati 1:00 PM ET
Houston TV: CBS
Jacksonville 1:00 PM ET
Indianapolis TV: CBS
Green Bay 1:00 PM ET
Minnesota TV: FOX
Detroit 1:00 PM ET
New England TV: FOX
Tennessee 1:00 PM ET
Philadelphia TV: CBS
St. Louis 4:05 PM ET
San Diego TV: FOX
Arizona 4:05 PM ET
Seattle TV: FOX
Miami 4:25 PM ET
Denver TV: CBS
Washington 4:25 PM ET
San Francisco TV: CBS
Dallas 8:30 PM ET
NY Giants TV: NBC
Monday
NY Jets 7:00 PM ET
Buffalo TV: CBS
Baltimore 8:30 PM ET
New Orleans TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Thursday, November 20Full Scoreboard
Minnesota «3Final | Box
Philadelphia2
Tampa Bay2Final | Box
Toronto «5
St. Louis1Final | Box
Montreal «4
Nashville2Final | Box
Ottawa «3
Detroit «4Final | Box
Winnipeg3
Arizona1Final | Box
Dallas «3
Washington «3Final | Box
Colorado2
Chicago «4Final | Box
Calgary3
Anaheim «4Final(SO) | Box
Vancouver3
Carolina2Final | Box
Los Angeles «3
Florida «3Final(SO) | Box
San Jose2
Full Scoreboard