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.
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“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.”