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Rangers add two lefties to roster for ALCS

Rangers add two lefties to roster for ALCS

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers added a pair of left-handers to their bullpen for the American League Championship Series on Friday.

Clay Rapada and Michael Kirkman were included on the 25-man roster, and infielder Esteban German and right-hander Dustin Nippert, who had been on the Division Series roster, were removed to make room.

"As a group, we felt it was the best fit," general manager Jon Daniels said. "Each of the options brought something different to the table, but these guys complement the rest of the team best and how [manager Ron Washington] wants to use the bullpen."

German was on the Division Series roster mainly to be a late-inning pinch-runner, but was never used in the five games against the Rays. Nippert appeared in Game 3, a 6-3 Rangers loss, allowing two runs on two hits in one inning.

The Rangers decided that they needed the extra relievers for a bullpen that already includes closer Neftali Feliz, left-handers Darren Oliver and Derek Holland and right-handers Darren O'Day and Alexi Ogando.

Rangers relievers were 0-1 with a 5.27 ERA in the Division Series. They combined to pitch 13 2/3 innings and allowed eight runs on 16 hits and five walks while striking out 15.

But during the regular season, Rangers relievers combined for a 3.38 ERA, the second lowest in the American League. Opponents hit .236 off them, third lowest in the league.

With O'Day, Oliver and Feliz doing all of the work, Rangers relievers pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings in the first two ALDS games at Tampa Bay. They had their problems in Arlington when Ogando, Holland and Nippert were thrown into the fray.

"You're going to give up runs once in a while," O'Day said. "It happens. What's good is [manager Ron Washington] made sure guys got their feet wet. I don't care who you are, your first game in the playoffs, there is going to be some nerves.

"I think in this series you will see more out of our bullpen depth. Not that our starters won't go seven or eight innings, but I think you'll see the back of the bullpen do more."

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