Roy Oswalt looks to settle into groove

OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Texas Rangers had seen flashes from Roy Oswalt in his first four starts with the team. But this was the real deal, the Oswalt the Rangers hoped they were getting when they signed him to a mid-season deal.

Even Oswalt admitted as much, conceding that this was his best of five starts so far in a Texas uniform.

“As far as commanding both sides of the plate, this was the best,” Oswalt said after giving up one run in 6 1/3 innings in a 6-1 victory over the Oakland A’s on Tuesday night.

Oswalt improved to 3-1. His ERA stands at 5.22, but he gave up nine earned runs in a July 3 start against the White Sox.

“If I could have a mulligan and take one out, I think I’ve pitched pretty well,” Oswalt said.

Facing an A’s team that was on a roll, Oswalt gave up gave up just three hits and he did not walk a batter. He threw 103 pitches, including 72 for strikes.

“His mix was perfect tonight,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “He moved the ball around, got on the outside part of the plate, the inside part of the plate. He threw some good breaking balls, some good change-ups. He just kept those guys off balance. That’s what you have to do they are very aggressive when you throw the ball in the strike zone.”

One of those A’s hitters was not quite as impressed with Oswalt, though.

Josh Reddick, who provided the only run against Oswalt with a seventh-inning homer, didn’t have much complimentary to say about the veteran.

“I don’t feel he was very good,” Reddick said. “I felt like we had a lot of swing and misses. We had a pretty good go at him. We saw a lot of pitches early, just bad swings in front of the ball. I don’t feel like his stuff was very far out there.”

Oswalt said he feels he can still be the pitcher he was in 2010, when he finished with 13 wins and a 2.76 ERA while pitching with the Astros and Phillies.

“That year was the best stuff of my whole career,” said Oswalt, 34. “Last year I had a down year, went through some injuries here and there, fought through some stuff and everyone wrote me off. Hopefully I'll get back in the groove. My changeup is coming around my breaking pitch are coming around. I’m the same pitcher I was the last 12 years.”