Rangers Bullpen Hiccups, Buckles Down | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Rangers Bullpen Hiccups, Buckles Down

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Closer Shawn Tolleson is congratulated by catcher Chris Gimenez after defeating the Seattle Mariners 9-6 at Safeco Field Sept. 8 in Seattle. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

    There have been a couple of times since Jake Diekman was acquired from Philadelphia as part of the Cole Hamels deal when the hard-throwing lefty reliever hasn't had his control, and consequently, his stuff.

    On Tuesday, we got another one of those outings, which have come few and far between for Diekman since he made his Rangers debut on Aug. 1.

    Diekman entered the game to start the eighth inning after Hamels allowed four runs in seven innings, and the flame-throwing lefty promptly walked the first batter he faced and then gave up a home run to Robinson Cano — two runs, a hit and a walk without a recording an out.

    After that, it was all good for the Rangers' bullpen, which saw the return of Keone Kela from an arm scare last week that proved to be nothing. It showed, as Kela went on to retire all three batters he faced in the eighth after Seattle had closed the gap to 8-6 with two strikeouts.

    After the Rangers scored an insurance run in the top of the ninth, Shawn Tolleson came on for the bottom of the inning and continued his recent run of quality work after a bit of a struggle by getting out of the inning on 13 pitches, including two strikeouts, to record his 31st save — the most in the AL since Tolleson took over the closer's role in mid-May.

    The Rangers' bullpen is quickly becoming one of its greatest strengths, which is hard to believe given where they stood just a couple of months ago.