Scheppers: 'Just one of those days'

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers All-Star candidate Tanner Scheppers answered several questions about the condition of his right arm before Sunday's 3-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

There were more after the reliever's first real erratic appearance of the season, one that saw him load the bases with no outs and get pulled during an at-bat against Reds right fielder Jay Bruce in the bottom of the eighth. Neal Cotts and Jason Frasor came in behind Scheppers to keep the Rangers in the lead going to the ninth.

Scheppers didn't say much after the game, but he did say again that physically, he is fine.

"It was just one of the days guys," Scheppers said. "Just one of those days."

Scheppers has spoiled everyone this season. His 1.11 ERA coming into Sunday was the second-lowest in the American League. Sunday's game marked just the sixth time in 39 outings that he's been scored on as Cotts allowed his first two inherited runners to score.

"Look at how good he's pitched all season," Frasor said. "He's been unbelievable."

Scheppers threw nine pitches, seven of them balls. He had a four-pitch walk followed by back-to-back singles by Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips -- two pretty good professional hitters, by the way -- loading the bases with no outs.

Scheppers then threw two more balls to Bruce, prompting manager Ron Washington to bolt out of the dugout to get Cotts into the game.

Cotts did give up two runs on sacrifice flies as the Reds cut the lead to 3-2. Frasor came in and used his slider -- which he said after the game is not "his pitch" -- to get Reds third baseman Todd Frazier to fly out to center field with the tying run at third base.

Scheppers was ineffective, so Washington passed the baton to other relievers who picked up their teammate.

"Cotts traded two runs for two outs," Frasor said. "That's exactly what he did. I just went out there and whipped it up there. It was good to get ahead and get the last out."

After the game, there was little concern about Scheppers, who was way off and out of the strike zone on the last two pitches to Bruce.

"He was a little bit off," Soto said. "We were trying to attack the strike zone."