ARLINGTON -- The Rangers, after revamping their rotation over the weekend, won't need their fifth starter before next Tuesday against Tampa Bay. That gives the club time to decide if Alexi Ogando is ready to return to the rotation.
Ogando still hasn't been stretched out as a starter, but he did earn a victory in relief Sunday, holding the Angels scoreless for 1 1/3 innings as the Rangers rallied for a 4-3 victory. He threw 23 pitches and hasn't started since Aug. 13.
Nick Tepesch started Sunday and allowed two runs on four hits in 3 1/3 innings. He walked one, struck out five and one of the runs scored after Tepesch left the game after giving up a one-out single to Mark Trumbo in the fourth. The Angels scored two that inning after reliever Joseph Ortiz gave up a couple of doubles.
"I thought Tepesch did a great job," manager Ron Washington said. "We'll just see how it goes. I wouldn't be shocked if Ogando starts a game and I wouldn't be shocked if he didn't start a game. Ogando has always been a candidate to start, but he just came off the disabled list. He's got to face hitters and then we'll make a decision."
A decision on the fifth starter will be crucial down the stretch. The Rangers were able to switch around their rotation because they are off Thursday. But that is their last day off. Beginning Friday, they play 17 straight days down to the end of the season and they will need a fifth starter for three of those games.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. Master Tesfatsion is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.