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Rangers' bullpen steals show in finale win

Relief crew combines to hold A's hitless over final 4 1/3 innings
MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers finally saw the good side of their bullpen show up at Globe Life Park.

Jesse Chavez, Alex Claudio, Chris Martin and Keone Kela combined for 4 1/3 scoreless innings and the Rangers held off the Athletics for a 4-2 victory on Wednesday night. Texas also got a couple of big hits with runners in scoring position -- something that had been missing too often lately -- and its first triple of the year in the win, which ended Oakland's win streak at four.

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ARLINGTON -- The Rangers finally saw the good side of their bullpen show up at Globe Life Park.

Jesse Chavez, Alex Claudio, Chris Martin and Keone Kela combined for 4 1/3 scoreless innings and the Rangers held off the Athletics for a 4-2 victory on Wednesday night. Texas also got a couple of big hits with runners in scoring position -- something that had been missing too often lately -- and its first triple of the year in the win, which ended Oakland's win streak at four.

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"We had a lot of guys doing their thing," starter Doug Fister said. "It all added up to a good night."

Video: OAK@TEX: Banister on Rangers' bullpen, win over A's

Rangers relievers allowed 19 runs in 16 2/3 innings over the first five games of the homestand. This outing was more like their work in road games: Texas relievers have a 1.16 ERA in 10 games away from Arlington.

"It was a good game to come back from, and just move forward into our next series going into Toronto and Cleveland," Kela said. "We got a good start from Doug Fister, and everybody that came out of the bullpen did exactly what the game asked them to do, and we were able to come home with the win. We needed it tremendously.

"We've been going through our own little trials and tribulations, and I think it was a good collective bullpen win just to move forward and forget about the past, continue to build on this, and just have a domino effect."

The four Rangers relievers faced 13 batters, and the only one to reach base was on an error. They also combined for five strikeouts. Chavez started the roll by retiring four consecutive hitters and earning the win. Claudio, Martin and Kela -- who earned his fourth save -- each pitched a scoreless inning.

"We need to get on a roll, and hopefully today starts that," Martin said. "We have a lot of good guys down there, and everybody can throw in any situation. That's an asset right there. We have a great bullpen, we just need to get on a streak and have everybody feel comfortable."

Manager Jeff Banister said Chavez being able to form the bridge from Fister to the back end of the bullpen was most critical.

"To be able to get these guys off the field with a positive and close the door like that, that will go a long way to getting them back on track physically and mentally," Banister said.

The bullpen made the Rangers' clutch hits stand up. Texas entered the game hitting .203 with runners in scoring position, including .182 with two outs. But, trailing 2-1, the Rangers were able to break through in the fifth inning with two-out RBI singles from Nomar Mazara and Isiah Kiner-Falefa.

Video: OAK@TEX: Kiner-Falefa knocks an RBI single to right

The Rangers had just those two hits in 12 at-bats with runners in scoring position, but Ronald Guzman drove in Kiner-Falefa from first base in the eighth with a triple. The Rangers had gone 47 games without a triple, dating back to Sept. 8 of last season.

Video: OAK@TEX: Guzman plates Kiner-Falefa with a triple

Fister came off the disabled list and allowed two runs in 4 2/3 innings. He allowed four hits, walked three and struck out three while throwing 105 pitches. One of the hits was a two-run home run by Khris Davis, giving the Athletics a 2-0 lead in the third inning.

Video: OAK@TEX: Fister gets Maxwell looking at strike three

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Marcus Semien, with the Rangers leading 3-2, opened the eighth by reaching second base on Kiner-Falefa's throwing error. Jed Lowrie followed with a medium deep fly ball to left-center. Delino DeShields made the catch and Semien tested DeShelds' arm, only to get nailed for a critical out. DeShields put the throw right on target from 266 feet away.

Video: OAK@TEX: DeShields turns 8-5 double play in 8th

"We're gonna run on DeShields," Athletics manager Bob Melvin said. "That's the scouting report, and that's the best throw I've seen him make, so I'm sure that's what Marcus was thinking when he took off."

SOUND SMART
Khris Davis has 18 home runs against the Rangers since the start of the 2016 season. That's the most for any player in the Major Leagues against any single opponent over that period. His 17 home runs against the Mariners are the second most against any opponent. .

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Shin-Soo Choo made his sixth start in right field and Statcast™ gave him four stars for his diving catch in the second, taking away a hit from Davis. Choo had to cover 56 feet in 3.7 seconds and the play had just a 49 percent chance of being made.

Video: OAK@TEX: Choo lays out for a nice grab in right

HE SAID IT
"Those guys have been worked hard and it says a lot about them that they come ready to pitch every night. We appreciate those guys."
-- Fister, on the bullpen

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
The Rangers' first run came in the fourth inning when Juan Centeno came to the plate with Joey Gallo at third, Guzman at first and one out. Centeno hit a grounder to third baseman Matt Chapman, who went for the inning-ending double play. Centeno barely beat the throw to first and the Athletics challenged. After review, the call stood and Centeno had his second RBI of the season. The Rangers are 6-1 with Centeno as their catcher.

Video: OAK@TEX: Gallo scores on Centeno's FC, call stands

UP NEXT
Left-hander Mike Minor opens up a three-game series against the Blue Jays at 6:05 p.m. CT Friday at Rogers Centre. Minor is 3-0 with a 1.64 ERA in three career starts and two relief appearances against the Blue Jays. He allowed one run on two hits over six innings in a 5-1 victory on April 7. Marcus Stroman is scheduled to pitch for the Blue Jays.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

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