OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 16: Manager Ron Washington #38 of the Texas Rangers takes pitcher Colby Lewis #48 out of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning against the Oakland Athletics at O.co Coliseum on June 16, 2014 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
With Joe Saunders starting Friday night's series opener in Anaheim against the Los Angeles Angels, the Texas Rangers will hope he can continue a recent trend and work fairly deep into the game.
That's something Rangers starters couldn't do effectively in Oakland, when the Rangers lost the second two of the three-game set as the starting pitchers got just one out past the fifth inning combined — not exactly a recipe for a well-rested bullpen.
But Scott Baker came to the rescue on Wednesday and finished the game that Nick Tepesch started — a 4-2 loss to the first-place A's — and that coupled with an off-day on Thursday should mean all hands will be on deck in the bullpen as the Rangers try to avoid losing three straight games and falling three games under .500.
“I’d like to give them as much of a break as we possibly can,” manager Ron Washington told reporters. “But if they’re available and you have a chance to win a game, you’ve got to use them. I’d like to get games where they don’t have to come in, but that hasn’t been the case.”