Bullpen continues to shine

Bullpen continues to shine

ANAHEIM -- Rangers relievers earned both a win and a save with 3 1/3 scoreless innings of a 7-6 victory over the Angels on Monday. The Rangers, Braves and Blue Jays are the only teams without a blown save this season.

The Rangers and the Braves are the only teams without a loss from a reliever and have the top two bullpen ERAs in the Majors. The Braves have a 1.22 ERA, while the Rangers have a 1.85 ERA.

"It's early, but obviously the early returns have been good," general manager Jon Daniels said on Tuesday. "Not only the results, but the way our guys are going about it: a lot of strikes and a lot of quick innings, getting ahead of hitters, both veteran guys as well as the young guys. We don't take it for granted that it will be this way all year. I don't think they can sustain the number of innings they've pitched for a full year. But we've asked them to do a job, and they've done it."

Closer Joe Nathan is 6-for-6 in save opportunities with a 1.23 ERA, but the Rangers have received a huge boost from right-hander Tanner Scheppers and left-hander Joe Ortiz. With two weeks to go in Spring Training there was some doubt if either would make the team. But Scheppers has two wins and hasn't allowed a run in nine appearances. Ortiz is 2-0 with a 0.77 ERA in seven appearances.

"The bullpen has done a good job, especially the young kids," manager Ron Washington said. "They've been thrown into the fire, and they've responded. They are able to hold leads, save runs and they're able to get outs."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.