Uehara delivers in prime setup situation

Uehara delivers in prime setup situation

HOUSTON -- Alexi Ogando was unavailable on Friday after pitching two innings on Thursday. The Rangers also wanted to stay away from Mike Adams because he was still weak from a bronchial infection that zapped him earlier in the week. So Koji Uehara was asked to pitch the eighth inning and protect the Rangers' 4-1 lead.

Uehara did so and earned just his third hold of the season. He had 22 last year, when he was a late-inning setup reliever for the Orioles and Rangers. He has not been in that role this season for the Rangers but was glad to get the opportunity again on Friday night.

"When they call my name, I'm ready for any situation," Uehara said.

Uehara pitched a scoreless inning and has not allowed a run in 10 1/3 innings over his last 10 appearances. His 1.26 ERA is the seventh lowest in the American League.

Manager Ron Washington said he has still confidence in Uehara to use him in "winning" situations, but Ogando and Adams are still his primary setup relievers.

"When they're not available, we'll use Uehara in those situations," Washington said. "I know he can pitch. He's been throwing the ball well. He has been looking for opportunities to get in those situation, that opportunity presented itself last night and he did a great job."