Scheppers off to strong start in bullpen

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington said again after Friday's 3-2 win over the Angels that bullpen roles still haven't been established.

But Tanner Scheppers keeps pushing his name to the top of the list.

Scheppers took another step forward Friday, pitching a perfect eighth inning with the Rangers and Angels tied at 2. Washington and pitching coach Mike Maddux went to the power right-hander in a key situation, and he dominated.

"I'm just trying to stay consistent," Scheppers said. "It's a long year."

Scheppers entered the game after Adrian Beltre's solo home run with two outs in the bottom of the seventh tied the game. Scheppers struck out Peter Bourjos on a high fastball. He then got the key out in the inning, getting Mike Trout to ground out, and Erick Aybar flew out to right field to end the inning.

The Rangers took the lead in the bottom of the eighth on an Ian Kinsler RBI single, giving Scheppers his first win of the season.

Scheppers also came into Wednesday's game at Houston, a 4-0 victory, and got a popup to end the seventh inning with the Rangers holding onto a one-run lead at the time.

"We have a combination we can use in those situations," Washington said. "The past two games Scheppers has had that opportunity to come in ... he's done the job. He was one of those guys out there as we move forward we'll (keep an eye on) what they set up. He deserves a lot of credit for the way he's pounded the strike zone and not backed down."