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Rangers Get Key Win With Bullpen Start

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Rangers Get Key Win With Bullpen Start

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Thursday night's Rangers game in Cleveland seemed like a perfect recipe for a Texas Rangers loss.

Cleveland sports an MLB-best overall record, and has the best home record in the league, and the Rangers had to scratch No. 3 starter Matt Harrison from his scheduled start due to a blister problem.

That meant a spot start for Dave Bush, which hasn't gone terribly well in a couple of other instances this year, and a max of four innings meaning the rest of the bullpen was going to be thrown into play, something that has been an unmitigated disaster at times this season.

But the Rangers got four innings out of Bush on 78 pitches as he allowed four hits, a walk and three runs before giving way to Michael Kirkman.

Kirkman showed signs of greatness late last year, had an awful spring and an awful season to this point but on Thursday night he was ready for the occasion. Kirkman threw three innings to bridge the gap to the back of the Rangers bullpen and allowed just one hit and two walks while striking out four. He gave up one run.

That led to Darren Oliver getting one out in the eighth and the resurgent Mark Lowe coming in to get the other two on seven pitches with a strikeout.

Of course, that brought in Neftali Feliz for the save as the up-and-down closer as of late gave up just one hit and had a relatively easy save, his third in a row.

That, friends, is how you make a spot start.

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