Middle relief gives Rangers a chance in loss to Red Sox
MAY 11, 2014 12:25a ET
ARLINGTON, Texas â After starter Martin Perez struggled for 3 2/3 innings, the Rangers found some serenity Saturday in the middle relief performances of Shawn Tolleson and Aaron Poreda.
Tolleson relieved Perez posted two hitless innings, allowing only a walk. Poreda followed and turned in a clean 1 1/3 innings with two strikeouts.
That kept the Rangers within sight of the Red Sox, who led 6-3 after seven innings.
Justin Germano, making his Rangers debut, allowed two runs in the eighth. That made for an 8-3 final margin that could have been much wider if not for the performances of Tolleson and Poreda.
"They did a good job, really," manager Ron Washington said. "Tolly came in and gave us two good innings. He used his breaking ball, spotted his fastball up.
"Poreda came in and did what he's been doing since he's been here: throwing strikes, using his slider, using his changeup, his fastball, did a good job."
Poreda hasn't allowed a run in nine appearances and has give up just five hits in 8 1/3 innings of work.
Tolleson has a 4.34 ERA after his 14th appearance. He's had the most work of any reliever with 18 2/3 innings logged and has been used in a variety of situations.
"I wouldn't necessarily put a role on me right now," Tolleson said. "I think I'm still kind of taking shape and they're still kind of learning what I can do. Right now I'm just kind of on my toes. When they need a long reliever, I'm there. And if there comes a time when they just need a situational guy, I'll be there, too.
"So right now it's just more about me just trying to go out and perform whenever they put me in there."
Tolleson performed Saturday when he entered with two outs in the fourth. The Red Sox had scored four times in the inning, but Tolleson induced a fly ball form Xander Bogaerts to end the rally.
Tolleson then took care of the bottom of the Red Sox order in the fifth and was pulled with two outs in the sixth. The one baserunner he allowed, Dustin Pedroia, was caught stealing.
"I feel good," Tolleson said. "Any time you can go out there and put up zeroes it's a good thing. I'm just trying to keep our team within reach.
"My approach was just to keep our team in the ballgame. Anything can happen, so I was just trying to keep the game right where it was and hopefully our offense could do something with it."
Poreda continued to give the offense a chance by striking out the last two of the four batters he faced.
The lefthanded Poreda was brought on to face fellow lefty David Ortiz in the sixth. Ortiz had homered and doubled in his previous two at-bats, but Poreda got him to ground out to second base.
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