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Adams injury means Koji Uehara crucial

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Rangers manager Ron Washington is thankful for Koji Uehara. The right-hander has been solid since returning form the disabled list Aug. 25 after missing 65 games with a right lat muscle strain. And the Rangers need him now more than ever because of Mike Adams' tight muscle in his shoulder.

"It ended up being a blessing in disguise that he was on the DL as long as he was," Washington said. "He's healthy and he's showing his health by the the results he's getting."

Uehara has a 1.99 ERA this season, but in September he's worked 7 1/3 scoreless innings in 10 games. Lefties haven't had a hit in their last 12 at-bats off him and he's retired 22 of the last 24 batters he's faced overall.

"He's been very aggressive and very consistent with his pitches and getting outs early," Washington said. "He's not wasting pitches. He's attacking the strike zone. He looks strong. He's fired up to compete."

Washington said Uehara and Alexi Ogando would both pitch the eighth depending on how the game goes while Adams is out.