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Roy Oswalt crushed in third inning Thursday night

Roy Oswalt crushed in third inning Thursday night

By Matt Snyder | Baseball Writer

With the recent struggles and injury woes to their starting rotation, the Texas Rangers need newly signed Roy Oswalt to join the rotation as soon as possible. Unfortunately, his Triple-A outing Thursday night won't do much to inspire confidence.

Oswalt did get through two innings without any issue, but in the third he coughed up four base hits before allowing a grand slam. His final line: four innings pitched, six hits, five earned runs, one walk, four strikeouts, one home run allowed (via MiLB.com).

"I felt strong. That's the best thing about tonight," Oswalt said (MLB.com).

More from Oswalt (MLB.com): "It's funny. When you throw in the Minor Leagues, they don't let you throw a lot of pitches. They swing early, and you don't get to work on a lot of stuff. [Thursday night] I think out of six hits, I gave up five on first-pitch fastballs. So you try and get your fastball established and try to work on it as much as possible. But when they swing at first pitches, it's hard to work on your other pitches."

This might sound like mild excuse-making, but when Andy Pettitte was roughed up a few times in the minors this season, he had similar sentiment. In his only two starts above Class A, Pettitte was 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA and 1.80 WHIP. In five major-league starts, Pettitte is 3-2 with a 2.78 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and what would amount to the second-highest strikeout rate of his career. The biggest takeaway is how the pitcher feels, and Oswalt says he feels strong.

The plan for Oswalt remains that he'll have "about" four starts in Triple-A before joining the Rangers' rotation.

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