Rangers bullpen hitting stride

Rangers bullpen hitting stride

ARLINGTON -- It's been a week since a Rangers reliever has allowed a run. And it's been more than four years since the Rangers bullpen has gone longer than its current streak of 15 1/3 innings without letting anyone cross the plate.

Seven relievers have combined on the streak since Tanner Scheppers allowed a run in the sixth inning of Thursday's win over the Yankees, none of them throwing more than the three innings closer Joe Nathan has pitched over that stretch.

"We're doing a great job," Mike Adams said. "The guys have been going out there and doing their job, one after another. I think, from a pitching standpoint, we've really hit our stride. August is usually a tough month for everybody, especially the pitchers, but the guys have done what they've needed to do to stay fresh and keep throwing zeros up."

Over its last eight innings, the Rangers bullpen has surrendered only two hits while striking out eight. After picking up just two wins over a 27-game stretch, it has been credited with a victory in five of the team's past eight games. The Rangers' bullpen has posted a 1.04 ERA in its last 12 games and leads the Major Leagues with a 3.18 strikeout-to-walk ratio while walking 97, the fewest in baseball.

"There was a point where it didn't matter who I brought in, I always had to go to Mike Adams and I had to go to Joe Nathan," manager Ron Washington said. "Finally things started clicking for them. ... I think you've got to give credit to [bullpen coach Andy] Hawkins and [pitching coach] Mike [Maddux]."