Kela dominates in return to the mound

Right-hander struck out two in perfect outing against Mariners

Kela dominates in return to the mound

SEATTLE -- Rangers reliever Keone Kela had not pitched in five days because of some concerns with his right elbow. When he finally got back on the mound in Tuesday night's 9-6 win, he was as good as he was before the shutdown.

The Rangers' 7-1 lead had been cut down to 8-6 when Robinson Cano hit a two-run home run off Jake Diekman to begin the eighth. But Kela took over and retired three straight hitters, striking out two of them, to end the threat.

"It was good to see Keone get back," manager Jeff Banister said. "His fastball was fresh and he had nice spin on the breaking ball. That was the pitch that was giving him trouble the last time out. We'll see how he is tomorrow."

That's the way Kela had been pitching before experiencing some discomfort in the elbow. He has pitched 11 1/3 scoreless innings with 15 strikeouts in 12 games since being recalled from Double-A Frisco. Kela, who was hitting 97 miles per hour on his fastball on Tuesday night, has struck out nine of the last 16 batters he faced.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.