ARLINGTON, Texas – Texas closer Joe Nathan’s perfect ninth inning in Sunday’s 3-1 victory over Kansas City didn’t come without a scare.
Before Nathan retired Chris Getz for the final out of the game, he felt a little pain in the rear — literally.
“Just felt something in my upper left cheek and I just wanted to make sure everything was fine,” Nathan said. “Not my cheek on my face. Everything checked out. The strength’s fine. The flexibility was all right.”
Nathan said he thought the mound at Rangers Ballpark was harder than normal Sunday and he felt something when he was trying to field a foul ball hit by Getz. The team wanted to make sure Nathan, who was pitching for a third consecutive game, wasn’t having an issue with either a glute muscle or a hamstring.
Nathan now has 17 saves. He struck out two of the three batters he faced before beating Getz to the bag for the final out on a grounder. Nathan was slowed to first on the play because of the pain.