Tigers can't solve Rangers' bullpen

BY foxsports • July 29, 2009

The Texas Rangers got a tag-team effort from their bullpen.

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Doug Mathis came out of the bullpen to give Texas four innings in an emergency spot start, and four other relievers shut out Detroit on one hit the rest of the way as the Rangers beat the Tigers 7-3 on Tuesday night.

Ex-Tiger Jason Grilli (1-1) pitched two perfect innings of relief with three strikeouts to pick up the decision.

"If we continue to develop our roles as we have, I put our bullpen against anyone in the big leagues," Grilli said. "I think we thrive on that fact. Pitching and defense is what matters and we've been doing that well and I think our offense thrives off of that."

Normally a long reliever, Mathis made his second start of the season and sixth of his career for Texas in place of Vicente Padilla, still weak from swine flu and scratched from the start about 3 1-2 hours prior to gametime.

Mathis allowed three runs and six hits in four innings. Grilli, Eddie Guardado, Darren O'Day and Guillermo Moscoso went the rest of the way, with Texas retiring 15 straight from the fourth through the eighth.

"It shows what character we have out there," Guardado said. "We needed everyone to step up. We all did our part and contributed to this win."

Ian Kinsler drove in three runs, and rookie Elvis Andrus homered and had three hits for the Rangers.

Kinsler, who was in a huge funk at the plate that shrunk his batting average from .272 to .242., highlighted a four-run second with a two-run triple. Kinsler began the night with 16 hits in his previous 103 at-bats.

Kinsler left the game before the seventh with a mildly strained left hamstring and will be evaluated on Wednesday.

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