Rangers reliever Tanner Scheppers was happy to be back on the mound. Two days after a disastrous appearance in Seattle in which he walked the bases loaded he was sent back out in the ninth to close out a 7-1 win Tuesday against the Diamondbacks.
He allowed a hit but had a strikeout and walked none. More importantly, it helped Scheppers bury Sunday’s performance.
“Definitely,” Scheppers said. “Any time you struggle like that it’s really important to try to bounce back and how you respond. I had a few things to work on.”
Scheppers missed much of the 2014 season with right elbow inflammation. An ankle injury slowed his progress this spring and he started the season on the disabled list.
Rangers manager Jeff Banister said before Tuesday’s game that he remained committed to Scheppers as an important bullpen element but hoped to give him more time and less stressful spots to find himself again on the mound.
A six-run lead in the ninth gave Banister the chance to send in Scheppers.
“Any time a guy has a less-than average outing for himself you want to get him back out there and show him confidence,” Banister said. “A good time to get Schepp back out there. He threw the ball very well tonight. He was in control of the at-bats.”
Scheppers is hoping his rhythm returns with more outings.
“Yeah, it’s going to be a build up. I’m just thankful for the opportunities to go out there and pitch,” he said. “I was out of the game for a long time. Take each outing for what it is and learn from it.”
Stefan Stevenson, 817-390-7760