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Rangers not losing faith in Oliver

The Sports Xchange
Notes, Quotes · Rangers not losing faith in Oliver · Roster Report

It's been a tough two-week stretch for 40-year-old lefty Darren Oliver. He's been on the mound when the opponent has scored the winning run in three of the Rangers' last seven losses.

You think that has manager Ron Washington concerned?

Think again.

"No," Washington said Sunday before the Rangers' 5-4 win over Los Angeles. "No, with an exclamation point. There are five or six other guys you should ask about before you get to Darren Oliver. Unfortunate circumstances happen in the game of baseball for a week or two. That's all that's happened."

Oliver allowed the go-ahead run on a two-out single by Maicer Izturis Saturday two pitches after having a pair of checked swings ruled balls on the way to a walk.

It was Oliver's 17th appearance of the season, the most on the team by five. Oliver showed more willingness to pitch on Saturday after throwing 16 pitches Friday than closer RHP Neftali Feliz did after throwing 18 pitches. Feliz, who pitched Friday, has not appeared in back-to-back games since returning from the DL on May 5.

The reason Washington hasn't lost much faith in Oliver: When used in the role the Rangers intended for him, he's been stellar. That role was to pitch no more than every other day as a seventh- or eighth-inning pitcher. When he's had anywhere from 1-5 days of rest, Oliver has a 1.63 and a .170 opponents' on-base percentage in 11 innings, during which he hasn't walked anybody. Compare that to the five times he's pitched without a day of rest: a 3.60 ERA and .375 opponents' batting average. Feliz, by the way, gave the Rangers only a lukewarm response when asked if he was available to pitch Saturday.

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2017 Team Leaders
AVGElvis Andrus , SS.274
HRJoey Gallo , 3B6
RBINomar Mazara , RF17
OBPShin-Soo Choo , DH.364
SLGJoey Gallo , 3B.590
RJoey Gallo , 3B13
SBElvis Andrus , SS4
WYu Darvish , SP2
ERACole Hamels , SP2.77
WHIPYu Darvish , SP1.04
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SVJose Leclerc , RP1

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