ARLINGTON, Texas – Texas right-hander Scott Baker was well aware of the fact that the Rangers were 0-20 in games he’d appeared in this season entering Tuesday’s game.
That record is now 1-20 as Baker pitched the final two innings as the Rangers won a wild 3-2 game over Tampa Bay in 14 innings. It was the longest game in Arlington in more than three years.
Not only did Baker get to pitch in a victory, but he also picked up his first big-league win since July 23, 2011.
"It feels good," said Baker, who was the sixth and final pitcher used by the Rangers. "In a situation like that where you come in and the game’s tied in extra innings I’m just glad we pulled it out tonight. Obviously we’ll take it any way we can get it right now."
How the Rangers got it Tuesday was on a walkoff walk drawn by Adam Rosales with two outs in the 14th. Rosales took four-consecutive balls from Cesar Ramos, the seventh Tampa Bay pitcher. The walk forced in Nick Martinez, who was pinch running for Geovany Soto.
Baker ended a spectacular night for the Texas bullpen, which notched seven scoreless innings in relief of Nick Tepesch. Texas relievers allowed three hits, struck out five and didn’t walk a batter.
Baker (1-3) is the first Texas reliever to get a win in nearly two months, with Neal Cotts’ June 14 victory the last one coming from a reliever.
"In a way it’s just a stat," Baker said of his win. "Regardless of whether it’s as a reliever or as a starter to win a game in the big leagues it means something. I’m very happy obviously but at the same time it’s just a matter of being in the right place at the right time sometimes. I felt like that was the case tonight."