ARLINGTON -- The Rangers' rotation entered Saturday with a 2.94 ERA over the last 19 games (125 1/3 innings), so manager Ron Washington won't buy that his bullpen is overworked.
"They shouldn't be," Washington said. "I don't think they've been used a whole lot lately. Since we came out of the break, I think the load has been spread around pretty good. I think if anything becomes of them not getting something done, I think it's somebody making an excuse."
Neal Cotts and Tanner Scheppers each allowed a home run each after Derek Holland threw seven shutout innings Friday against the Mariners. It was the first time since July 30 the bullpen allowed multiple runs.
Kyle Seager's two-run homer off Cotts in the eighth was just the second time the left-handed reliever has allowed multiple runs this season. Justin Smoak's solo shot was just the fifth home run allowed by Scheppers this season.
"Cotts has been nails," Washington said. "He gave up one [Friday] night. Overused? No. He threw a ball in the wrong spot. Schep? He hasn't been used a whole lot in the second half. Overused because he gave up a bomb? He threw the ball in the wrong spot. I'm not going with that one."
The bullpen had the fourth lowest ERA in the American League (3.04) entering Saturday's contest. The relievers didn't allow a run in 21 of their last 33 innings with a 2.27 ERA in that span.
Master Tesfatsion is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.