Rookies Klein, Mendez an effective combo in bullpen

Rookies Klein, Mendez an effective combo in bullpen

ARLINGTON -- With three perfect innings in Saturday night's loss to the Angels, the Rangers' mostly inexperienced bullpen continued its recent hot streak -- and continued to give manager Ron Washington something to smile about.

Phil Klein, Neal Cotts and Roman Mendez needed only 30 pitches between them to retire all nine batters they faced.

"They've done an outstanding job," Washington said of his relief corps. "We've been sort of keeping ourselves in ballgames and they're the reason why, simply because we've been getting some short outings out of the starters, and we've been having to get three or four innings out of the bullpen to stay around in the ballgame and they've been giving us that."

Klein and Mendez, both rookies, have enjoyed some early success in the Majors. Klein has a 2.70 ERA and nine strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings, while Mendez has a 1.40 ERA and 12 strikeouts in 19 1/3 innings.

"When you have the type of stuff that Mendez has -- it's really satisfying that he has that mindset to attack," Washington said. "Klein, he just goes out there and makes pitches. He can put that slider where he wants to whenever he wants to, and he doesn't hang it. He has command."

Dave Sessions is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.