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Scheppers long past mid-August swoon

ARLINGTON -- Tanner Scheppers' 3.18 ERA in August was the highest in a month this season for the reliever. While he lacked command on his fastball, as evident against the Astros on Aug. 21 when he recorded his first blown save by hitting a batter with the bases loaded, Scheppers said his struggles were a "mix of everything."

They didn't last long. Scheppers allowed six hits and three runs in 1 1/3 innings during back-to-back games, but he's since returned to form.

"Everyone has ups and downs throughout the course of the year, it's just about making those lows as short as possible," Scheppers said. "It's just about making adjustments. All you got to do is going out there and keep pitching."

The Rangers setup man has pitched six scoreless innings in his last six games to help keep the team in games during a rough offensive stretch. He's only allowed three hits in that stretch, with six strikeouts and, most importantly, no walks.

"I think just executing pitches, staying calm and keeping it simple," Scheppers said of the reasons for his recent success. "I'm throwing the ball where I want it."

Scheppers' scoreless innings streak was snapped in Wednesday's 7-5 loss to the Pirates, as he allowed a one-out home run to Clint Barmes in the seventh. It was the first home run he's allowed since Aug. 16 and the sixth he's given up this season.

Master Tesfatsion is an associate reporter for
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