Texas Rangers: Mike Minor throws the shutout against Angels, continues to carry a heavy load on the Rangers' rotation



ARLINGTON – The Rangers' commercials plunged into a promotional slogan for this season.

It should be "Minor and Lynn, and who else fills?"

That's not as lyrical as "Spahn and Sain and pray for the rain." Describe precisely the situation of the rotation of the Rangers.

The Rangers manage with a rotation of two men. Left-hander Mike Minor and left-hander Lance Lynn have a combined 3-2 ERA with a 3.50 ERA. They have averaged 6.62 entries per start.

Minor improved the numbers on Tuesday with his first full game of nine career innings in a 5-0 victory against the Los Angeles Angels in Globe Life Park. It allowed only three singles and produced "many unpleasant changes," said manager Chris Woodward.

Minor has made more than seven innings in three consecutive starts. He did it for the last time in the second half of the 2014 season while he was with Atlanta. Soon after, shoulder problems derailed his career.

"I think now I have better things than I had then," said Minor. "That's what you want every time, to deepen the game, give the bullpen a day of rest and help others."

The other guys in the rotation could use the badistance.

The Rangers have used four other starters: Shelby Miller, Drew Smyly, Adrian Sampson and the injured Edinson Volquez. The quartet is a 0-2 combined with an 8.73 ERA for nine starts. They have chewed the bullpen, averaging 3.67 tickets per start.

"It's a long season," Woodward said. "We're going to be based on what we can, but we'll tackle the problems that look us in the face."

Minor had the command of four pitches: fast ball, curve, slider and change. He rejected the early change to the advice of receiver Jeff Mathis, but he used it more often at the end of the game.

The Rangers went ahead 1-0 in the first with double Nomar Mazara, and Minor got him out of there. Asdrubal Cabrera and Joey Gallo added a home run of two runs apiece. Cabrera's thrust hit the wrist of right fielder Kole Calhoun and sneaked through the wall.

For the Rangers, the charge rests directly on Lynn and Miller. Woodward said he does not apply pressure to any of the starters, but acknowledged that everyone could look around and feel it.

"When you're in the situation of Minor, the number one opener, you put it on anyway," Woodward said. "I would like you to do that.

"Lynn does not care, he's" give me the ball, I'll throw 180 pitches. "He told me that."

Lynn, scheduled to start on Wednesday, and Minor are similar in that each is highly competitive. Neither of them asks out of place. Minor is calm about it. Lynn has the bulldog mentality par excellence, challenging the hitters with a lot of fastballs in motion.

"I think they embrace that," Woodward said. "They want the responsibility of being No. 1 and 2. … I do not think there's any additional pressure on them, it's going out and doing what you're supposed to do: compete."

"The most important thing is that those two guys need to show the rest of our staff how to compete even when you do not have it."

This threatens to be the most divided rotation of the Rangers since 2002. In that club, Kenny Rogers and Ismael Valdez were 19-17 with a 3.88 ERA. All other starters were 28-35 with an ERA of 6.11. The club finished in 72-90.

The Rangers have reason to hope for something better. They are 9-7 and they have two trustworthy holders.

Twitter: @gfraley

Starting slowly

A look at the most rotated ERAs at the start of Tuesday's play:

Team

Rotation record

Rotation ERA

Boston

2-10

7.18

Chicago White Sox

4-8

6.69

Rangers

2-4

6.40

Milwaukee

6-4

6.11

The angels of los angeles

2-6

5.52

This topic is losing its voice.



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