On Thursday night, neither the Rangers or the Angels got what they’d hoped for out their respective starters, Ryan Dempster and CJ Wilson, with each team turning to the bullpen early--the Rangers with two outs in the fifth and the Angels with one out in the sixth. As one could tell by merely glancing at the box score, the difference in the bullpens made the difference in the final score.
While the Rangers’ bats stayed hot after getting to Los Angeles’ bullpen, plating 7 of their 15 runs on the night against the Halos’ relievers, the Angels’ bats went silent against a combination of Robbie Ross, Roy Oswalt, Mike Adams and Joe Nathan.
These four scattered four hits and one run (charged to Nathan) over 4 1/3 innings, a performance that allowed the AL West leaders to dash away with a convincing win and a series split.
"It was a big outing for the bullpen," Adams said, per ESPN Dallas. "Everybody that came in there did a great job. It's very important, especially against a team like (the Angels), to keep our boys in the game. The main thing is just to give the boys a chance to put some runs on the board."
In his first appearance since being moved to the bullpen--and his first relief appearance of two innings in more than a decade--Oswalt gave up two hits, but allowed no runs and struck out two.
"He's a professional, a veteran," Rangers’ manager Ron Washington said. "Once he takes that mound, pride factor kicks in. He certainly did a good job for us those two innings he was out there. We certainly needed it, and he gave it to us. He is the reason why we had a chance to win the game. He kept us right there."