Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest  |  Last updated 5/5/13
ARLINGTON, Texas Rangers closer Joe Nathan almost had to re-introduce himself to his teammates when he finally returned to the mound Saturday. Nathan had not pitched since April 26 at Minnesota, but showed no signs of rust with a quick, 1-2-3 ninth inning in the 5-1 win over the Red Sox. It wasn't a save situation, except in the sense that it saved Nathan from having to wait another day to see some action. "He said he was nervous because he hadn't pitched in a week," catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. "I told him man, we really stink. We haven't used our closer in a week." Nathan hardly looked nervous. He needed just 16 pitches (11 for strikes) to retire three batters. Nathan struck out Will Middlebrooks on a high fastball, got Stephen Drew to hit a 3-2 pitch for a fly ball out and struck out Jacoby Ellsbury with another fastball. Not bad for a guy working on seven full days of rest. "I thought he was fine for not being out there in a week," Pierzynski said. "He came in throwing strikes, got two strikeouts, three up and three down. That's all you can really ask for." For a while, it looked like Nathan would get a save opportunity. Craig Gentry's two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth made it a non-save situation, but manager Ron Washington still went with his veteran closer in the ninth. Nathan has converted all eight save opportunities this season and has a 1.30 ERA. He's allowed eight hits and struck out 12 in 10 innings of work. Nathan wasn't the only bright spot for the Rangers' bullpen Saturday. Tanner Scheppers, who's allowed just one run in 16 innings, ended a Red Sox threat in the seventh. Robbie Ross was the first to relieve starter Alexi Ogando, entering with a man on and no outs in the seventh. Ross got two outs but also gave up a single to leave runners at second and third for Scheppers. Scheppers induced a grounder from Dustin Pedroia to end the inning, then pitched a scoreless eighth to set the stage for Nathan's long-awaited return. Follow Keith Whitmire on Twitter: @Keith_Whitmire
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Kyrie Irving told Cavs he wouldn’t report to training camp

Rob Gronkowski has given up alcohol with new diet

Report: Browns looking to trade Osweiler, Colts potential destination

Frank Lester: Jon Jones’ positive steroid test is a ‘straight set up’

Jimbo Fisher calls suspension rule ‘absolutely ridiculous’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Top storyline for each Week 3 NFL preseason game

LeSean McCoy seemingly responds to trade rumors

Emmanuel Sanders involved in car accident on way to team facility

Old Isaiah Thomas tweet about LeBron goes viral following trade

Report: Smaller-market teams support Pacers in tampering case against Lakers

Report: MRI confirms ankle sprain for Odell Beckham Jr.

The 'When the Doctor took the Big Apple by storm' quiz

BIG3 Referee Hotline: Calls routed from 1-900-MIX-A-LOT

The Indians are on a mission to make you pay attention whether you want to or not

15 college football coaches who are on the hot seat

Getaway Day: The playing field is leveling off as the wild-card chase takes shape

The 'Anquan Boldin calls it a career' quiz

Sports & Politics Intersect: Echoes of Charlottesville ripple across the sports world

BIG3 Playoff Preview: Can anyone stop Trilogy?

Why the SEC is not the best football conference anymore

Box Score 8/18: Reds and Cubs claw through a 23-run game

The 'M! E! S! S! Mess! Mess! Mess!' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Giancarlo Stanton won't stop hitting homers

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

BIG3 Referee Hotline: Calls routed from 1-900-MIX-A-LOT

The 'When the Doctor took the Big Apple by storm' quiz

The Indians are on a mission to make you pay attention whether you want to or not

The 'Anquan Boldin calls it a career' quiz

Getaway Day: The playing field is leveling off as the wild-card chase takes shape

Sports & Politics Intersect: Echoes of Charlottesville ripple across the sports world

BIG3 Playoff Preview: Can anyone stop Trilogy?

The 'Bye bye to the Beast Incarnate?' quiz

Why the SEC is not the best football conference anymore

The 'M! E! S! S! Mess! Mess! Mess!' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker