Cashner becomes consistent force in rotation

Right-hander has five straight quality starts, three consecutive wins

Cashner becomes consistent force in rotation

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers' starting rotation has been, to put it plainly, a fluid situation. They've used 10 different starters this season, five of which have started more than 10 games.

In terms of who has been Texas' most consistent starter, instead of the regular suspects like the recently departed Yu Darvish or Cole Hamels, over the past month, it has been Andrew Cashner.

The right-hander stayed hot on Wednesday, holding the Mariners to one run on six hits over six innings in a 5-1 win at Globe Life Park. A rain delay after the sixth prevented him from pitching the seventh, but by that point, his work was done.

"I thought Andrew was very aggressive with all of his pitches. Four-seam [fastball] attack was really good in, and I felt like the sinker, the change, got him out of some [tough] situations, got some swings," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "The sinker was pretty effective tonight."

The right-hander has thrown five straight quality starts and has registered a win in three straight starts. Cashner has compiled a 2.20 ERA over his last five outings and raised his win total to seven, the second-highest of his career.

He's been as solid as they come, and that hasn't gone unnoticed.

"I'm doing a lot of things well," Cashner said. "I'm running the four-seam up in the top of the zone, the breaking ball is better, the changeups are down. Overall, my stuff, just being able to locate up and down, has been a lot better."

At home, he's been dominant. Cashner holds a 2.20 ERA over eight starts at Globe Life Park this year. And when runners get on base, they're usually stranded there. Opponents are 4-for-their-last-22 with runners in scoring position against him, and the Mariners left nine men on base on Wednesday.

While other members of the rotation have sustained long-term injuries or -- as was the case on Monday -- are traded, Cashner has been the rock of the Rangers' rotation.

"You need a guy like that. You need a guy that's consistent in the rotation that you feel confident about, that's going to go out there," Banister said. "You'd like for all of your guys to be able to go out there and really pound the strike zone, get hitters in swing mode and then make pitches to get outs. We'd like for all of our starters to get on a roll like that. We need that."

Sam Butler is a reporter for based in Arlington. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.