ANAHEIM -- Reliever Darren Oliver took over for Alexi Ogando in the ninth inning on Tuesday and retired the side in order. It was the first time he has been on the mound in 10 days as the Rangers' fantastic run of starting pitching has reduced the workload of everybody in the bullpen.
The Rangers hope a reduced workload benefits Oliver. Last season he had 39 appearances and 39 innings before the All-Star break. This season he had 36 appearances and 33 innings.
This difference may be negligible, but the difference between before and after the All-Star break last season was not. He had a 1.36 ERA before the break and a 4.50 ERA after. One of the reasons why the Rangers signed Arthur Rhodes this offseason was to reduce Oliver's workload.
"I still felt pretty good last year," Oliver said. "It definitely helps getting the extra rest."