On a day when the bullpen was exceptionally thin, righty Koji Uehara went where no Rangers reliever has
gone this season.
He went to the mound for a fourth consecutive day.
With righties Mike Adams and Joe Nathan unavailable due to fatigue/soreness issues and Alexi Ogando
being held back to close out the game, if needed, Uehara gave the Rangers a perfect eighth inning in what
was a one-run game at the time. The Rangers scored seven times in the bottom of the eighth on the way to a
9-3 win over Seattle.
"We had to push him out there four days in a row, but his pitch count has been real efficient, so we
were able to do it," manager Ron Washington said. "He looked very strong tonight. Very strong.
"We checked with him earlier," Washington added. "He said he was ready to go. Our plan was to give him
the ball when the eighth rolled around. When it did, we gave him the ball and he did an excellent job."
No Rangers pitcher had gone four consecutive days this season. Uehara had never gone four days in a row.
He wasn't exactly well-practiced at three in a row either, doing it once last year and once in 2010.
Uehara got ahead of hitters, which gave him leeway to mix his pitches for maximum effectiveness. After
getting No. 8 hitter Trayvon Robinson to ground out on an 0-and-2 splitter, he got ahead of enormous pinch
hitter Luis Jimenez 0-and-2 as well. The second pitch was a splitter at 81 mph that slowed Jimenez's bat
down. When he came back with a rather ordinary 89 mph fastball, it had the effect of something much harder.
Jimenez couldn't catch up.
"I didn't know much about him, but just by looking at him, I thought the splitter would be the way to
go," Uehara said through a translator. "The fastball was a pretty slow fastball, but I still got a swing
and a miss, so I'm happy."
He followed it with a three-pitch strikeout of Ackley on nothing but splitters.
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