Oswalt stellar in return as Rangers down RockiesJun 23, 2012 - 6:27 AM
Making his Rangers' debut and first start in almost nine months, the 34-year- old fired 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball, lifting Texas to its seventh straight win with a 4-1 triumph over the sputtering Colorado Rockies in the opener of a three-game interleague series.
In his 110-pitch outing, Oswalt (1-0) fanned six and surrendered a run on nine hits and a walk. He was chased from the contest following Marco Scutaro's RBI double in the seventh.
Oswalt left to a standing ovation.
"I think command of all my pitches was there tonight," said Oswalt. "If I can keep this type of command all the way through I'll be happy."
The Mississippi native signed a minor league contract with Texas on May 29 and went 1-1 with a 5.87 earned run average in four starts between Triple-A Round Rock and Double-A Frisco.
Oswalt pitched to a 9-10 record with a 3.69 ERA in 23 starts last season for the Philadelphia Phillies. He spent time on the disabled list on two occasions -- April 27-May 15 and June 24-August 6 -- for inflammation in his lower back.
Friday was Oswalt's first MLB appearance since allowing five runs over six innings in a loss to the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 4 of last year's National League Division Series.
Adrian Beltre smacked a two-run homer, while Mike Napoli added a solo shot for the Rangers, who moved to an MLB-best 13-3 in interleague play. Joe Nathan registered his 16th save of the season with a 1-2-3 ninth.
Christian Friedrich (4-4) was charged with four runs on seven hits and a walk in six innings for Colorado, which has dropped 13 of its last 15 tilts.
The Rangers pushed across a pair of runs in each of the first and fourth innings to jump out to a 4-0 lead.
Beltre belted a opposite-field two-run blast in the opening frame that just crept over the wall in right, giving the hosts a 2-0 advantage.
In the fourth, Beltre reached on an infield single and scored when Nelson Cruz ripped a double into left-center. Cruz, though, got caught in a rundown between second and third on the play and was tagged out. Napoli stepped up next and cracked an opposite-field solo shot for a 4-0 Rangers margin.
The Rockies plated a two-out run to get on the board in the seventh. Dexter Fowler tripled and scored when Scutaro laced a double into the gap in right- center.
"We are staying optimistic, we are staying together and we're still playing hard," said Rockies outfielder Michael Cuddyer.
Prior to the game, Texas placed first baseman Mitch Moreland on the 15-day disabled list with a left hamstring strain and also designated pitcher Mark Hamburger for assignment...Oswalt improved to 9-2 in 13 career starts against Colorado...Texas has outscored opponents 58-27 over its last 11 games, going 10-1 in the process.
- COLORADO: 1
Jun 22 10:47 PM
- Robbie Ross enters the game for the Rangers with a runner on second and two out.
Rockies 1, Rangers 4 Top 7, 2 OutsJun 22 10:01 PM
- Yorvit Torrealba grounded out third to first to end the inning.
Rockies 0, Rangers 4 End 4Jun 22 9:13 PM
- Nelson Cruz doubled to left scored Adrian Beltre. On the play, Cruz was thrown out inbetween second and third, left to short to first to right. None on with two outs and Mike Napoli due up.
Rockies 0, Rangers 3 Bot 4, 2 OutsJun 22 9:11 PM
- Adrian Beltre two-out, two-run Home Run (13) to right scored Josh Hamilton. Michael Young due up.
Rockies 0, Rangers 2 Bot 1, 2 OutsJun 22 8:26 PM
- COLORADO: 0
Top 1, 0 Outs
Jun 22 8:07 PM
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