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Scheppers shows rust after three days off

ARLINGTON -- Right-handed reliever Tanner Scheppers couldn't record an out Sunday after getting three days off.

Scheppers pitched to three batters in the eighth, allowing two singles and a walk to load the bases. He was pulled out of the game on a 2-0 count to Jay Bruce for Neal Cotts. Only two of his nine pitches in the outing were strikes.

"It was just an off day," Scheppers said. "I just didn't have it. Poor command of everything."

Scheppers was charged with two runs, raising his ERA from 1.11 to 1.55. Scheppers said before the game he needed an extra day off Saturday, but there was nothing wrong physically.

"He was a little bit off," Geovany Soto said. "We were trying to attack the strike zone."

Scheppers has appeared in 39 games, tied for the third-most relief appearances in the American League. Prior to his three days off, Scheppers had pitched seven times in a stretch of 11 games.

"He has been taking on a huge workload and we decided to back off him," manager Ron Washington said before the game. "I certainly don't want him trying to battle through something and cost us more time. I'd rather give him time down now."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. Master Tesfatsion is an associate reporter for
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