Bullpen Shines in Victory

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There haven't been many picture-perfect examples of how Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington would like to see his bullpen fit together recently.

It's either been because the Rangers are losing miserably, and then recently they've been blowing teams out or getting big outings from their starting pitching.

On Thursday, neither of those happened as the Rangers were tangled in a 4-4 tie with the Minnesota Twins for much of the day after starter Nick Martinez scuffled through 5 2/3 innings while giving up nine hits.

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But there was no worry because Washington's bullpen came to the rescue as the Rangers escaped with a 5-4 win and a second straight four-game series road victory.

After the bullpen relieved Martinez in the sixth inning, they allowed just two hits and no runs led by a big effort from formerly embattled reliever Alexi Ogando, who threw 35 pitches and worked 1 1/3 innings while allowing one hit and fanning two.

The eighth inning saw Jason Frasor dominate with three quick outs, two of which were punchouts, and the ninth inning was given to Neal Cotts for one out against a lefty before closer Joakim Soria worked for the third time in four days and recorded his second save in as many days with a looking strikeout to end the game.

After the bullpen was an absolute mess in April, it's began to resemble a winning piece of the puzzle, and now that the starting pitching and offense are beginning to come around, it might not be time to write off these Rangers just yet.

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