<
>

Extra bases: Tepesch delivers in win

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Four extra days of rest certainly agreed with Nick Tepesch.

The 25-year-old right-hander ended his personal month-long winless streak as well as the Texas Rangers' eight-game slide with a dominant performance in Friday's 5-4 win over the Minnesota Twins.

"Nick was outstanding," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He did exactly what we needed him to do. That's something he can build on, the way he was able to settle himself down."

Pitching on eight days' rest, Tepesch in 7⅓ innings shut out the Twins on three singles. He walked two and hit a batter. And while he was touched for some hard-hit liners, teammates backed him with solid defense. In the process, Tepesch lowered his ERA from 4.38 to 3.65.

"I had command of all four pitches," Tepesch said. "And I had command within the zone so I could keep the ball where it needed to be."

Tepesch faced only one critical situation. The Twins loaded the bases with two out in the fourth. Eduardo Escobar took a third strike to end the threat.

Adrian Beltre, the Rangers' hitting star in the win, wanted to make sure the starting pitcher received his due.

"That was a great effort by Tepesch," Beltre said. "He was in total control."

In seven previous starts this season, Tepesch has had some comparable performances. He held the Houston Astros to two hits and one run in 5⅓ innings in his first start May 14. In a victory at Minnesota on May 26, he limited the Twins to seven hits and two runs in 6⅔ innings. And on June 13 at Seattle, he blanked the Mariners on two hits for 6⅓ innings of a no-decision.

"I like to think I'm always continuing to get better," Tepesch said.

A delicious thought for Rangers fans.