Scheppers, Soria will share 8th-inning role

DETROIT -- The Texas Rangers seem to have a luxury most teams don’t have in the bullpen, two setup guys for their closer in the eighth inning.

On Saturday, Joakim Soria got the call and gave up one hit and struck out two in the one inning he pitched in Texas' 7-1 win over the Detroit Tigers.

If the Rangers need someone out of the bullpen in the eighth Sunday against the Tigers, it’ll be Tanner Scheppers.

“We’re still going to send Scheppers out there in the eighth inning and one night it might be Scheppers and one night it might be Soria,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said prior to Texas’ series finale against Detroit at Comerica Park. “We’re very fortunate to have two guys that can give us the innings in that part of the game that we need. This way we keep both of them strong.”

Soria got the call Saturday because he last pitched on Monday at Baltimore.

“Scheppers has been pitching the whole year so him getting rest is no big deal,” Washington said. “Soria hasn’t so we don’t want to sit on him too long, that’s why I brought him in last night.”

Washington was ready to call on Soria in the seventh inning Saturday night had Derek Holland not been able to get Torii Hunter out, which would have brought Miguel Cabrera to the plate.

“If Holland got in trouble I was bringing him in the seventh,” Washington said. “With that part of the lineup if we got into any trouble I was bringing him in to get Cabrera, but Holland got out of it.”

Soria, 29, hadn’t pitched since 2011 and had Tommy John surgery in April 2012. It was the second time in his career he had to have that surgery.

He was just recently activated by the Rangers and Saturday was just his third appearance of the season.

“When he got here he said he was ready to go, don’t baby me, I’ll do whatever I have to do because I’m ready to go,” Washington said. “He was not coming until he did everything that was on paper from the beginning.

“When he got here he wanted to be here to help,” Washington continued. “He wasn’t coming here because his name was Joakim Soria. He’s a real class act.”

Washington also had a great way of describing just how accurate Soria is on the mound.

“He can hit a gnat in the ass and we all know how small that gnat’s ass is,” Washington laughed.