Notes: Ron Washington talks bullpen

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Manager Ron Washington had some kudos for his bullpen after they gave up one run in the final 3 1/3 innings on Opening Day after struggling during spring training.

Outside of David Ortiz's solo home run (off a fastball that Darren Oliver said caught too much of the plate), the bullpen kept the Red Sox hitters from doing much on Opening Day and the Rangers' offense did the rest. Some notes from Washington's chat with the media:

* He said he did not contemplate going with Darren O'Day to pitch to the right-handed hitting Kevin Youkilis to start the eighth inning.

"Darren Oliver isn't a specialized guy," Washington said. "He can get hitters out no matter what. I wanted him to start his own inning."

* Washington will try to ease Pedro Strop and Mason Tobin into a game much like he did with Mark Lowe on Friday. At some point, Washington will give those guys a shot and see what happens. How they do will determine how many more chances -- and when -- they get them.

* The manager said had the Rangers scored one more run to make it a 5-run game, he likely would have pitched Strop in the ninth and not used closer Neftali Feliz. "But it's the Boston Red Sox and I didn't want them coming back," Washington said. "If they were going to come back, they had to do it against Feliz."

* The animated talk that Washington gave Lowe before the righty pitched to catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia wasn't something the manager wanted to go into detail about. But he said it was a pep talk. "I just gave him some confidence in my way," Washington said. (Wish I could have been on the mound to hear that one).

* Washington said he has a start in mind for David Murphy, but didn't say which game. Sunday has to be tempting as Murphy is 5-for-7 off Clay Buchholz.

Reminder: In-game chat tonight at 7:15 right here on the blog.