ST. PETERSBURG -- Alexi Ogando could find himself pitching in the seventh inning for the Rangers instead of Koji Uehara. "It's a possibility," manager Ron Washington said. "We always intended on Ogando pitching in the sixth and seventh inning, and maybe the eighth. It depends on the workload of the other guys." Ogando, who was switched from the bullpen to the rotation this season, is being used as a reliever in the playoffs and pitched a scoreless sixth inning in the Rangers' 8-6 victory in Game 2 on Saturday. Uehara pitched the seventh, giving up a walk, a single and a three-run home run to Evan Longoria. He was then replaced by Darren Oliver.
Ogando pitched with a 5-3 lead and was going to come back for the seventh. But the Rangers scored two in the sixth and Washington decided to bring in Uehara. "Ogando was throwing the ball well," Washington said. "But once we got two more runs, I decided to get Uehara in the game and let him get a feel for what's going on. He had never pitched in a playoff game before. But if it was two runs, I would have sent Ogando out there to keep the momentum going." Uehara is the first pitcher to allow a home run in his postseason debut without recording an out. All other Rangers relievers have allowed one run in eight innings. The Rangers went into the playoffs planning on Uehara being the seventh-inning reliever, Mike Adams in the eighth and Neftali Feliz as the closer. Oliver and Michael Gonzalez, both left-handers, would be used in necessary situations. That leaves Ogando in middle relief and Scott Feldman as the long reliever. But Ogando was quite successful as a setup reliever last season before going 13-8 with a 3.51 ERA as a starter this season. "We could have sent Ogando back out there and the same thing happen to him," Washington said. "What happened to Uehara was a part of baseball. I can't sit here and say you won't see Uehara, and I can't sit here and say you won't see Oliver." Rays manager Joe Maddon admitted the Rangers have a deep bullpen. "With the Texas Rangers, you don't want to get in a bullpen war with them," Maddon said. "They pretty much stacked up their bullpen."