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Washington Could've Better Preserved Bullpen

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Washington Could've Better Preserved Bullpen

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OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 16: Yoenis Cespedes #52 of the Oakland Athletics is congratulated by Kyle Blanks #88 after Cespedes hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the six inning against the Texas Rangers at O.co Coliseum on June 16, 2014 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

When your team is leading a game 10-3 after the fifth inning, it seems you're pretty likely to have a night where you can rest your overworked bullpen — even if your struggling starting pitcher can't work beyond that point.

It would've been easy for Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington to pull Colby Lewis out of the game after the fifth inning on Monday night, go to his long man, Scott Baker, for a few innings and then put in recent call-up Ben Rowen to finish out the game in the ninth inning.

He got the last part of that equation right, as Rowen pitched his second consecutive scoreless inning in as many days, but he pretty much botched the in-between.

True, Baker could've just as easily given up five runs like the combination of Lewis, Robbie Ross Jr. and Shawn Tolleson did for 1 1/3 innings after the fifth inning ended. But at least give him the chance. Maybe things go well and you don't end up using four relievers instead of Baker.

But alas, Washington ended up using Ross, Tolleson and winning pieces Neal Cotts and Jason Frasor as the game got closer, before going to Rowen for the ninth inning. He even had Joakim Soria up warming twice late in the game.

It was a blown chance to give the key pieces of the bullpen an always-needed night off, so now the Rangers will have to hope for one on Tuesday night when Yu Darvish takes the hill.

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