Kirkman leaves game with mild left groin strain

Kirkman leaves game with mild left groin strain

Kirkman leaves game with mild left groin strain
ARLINGTON -- Michael Kirkman left the Rangers' series finale against the Twins on Sunday in the 10th inning with a mild left quad strain after facing just two batters.

Joe Mauer hit a soft ground ball to Kirkman, who backhanded it cleanly and sprinted to first base to record the first out of the 10th inning. After the play, team trainer Jamie Reed visited Kirkman, who exited the game after throwing only 13 pitches. Kirkman replaced Joe Nathan, who gave up two unearned runs in the ninth, and ended the inning by getting Ben Revere to fly out to center field.

Kirkman was replaced on the mound by Yoshinori Tateyama, who issued a two-out walk to Justin Morneau but got Ryan Doumit to strike out swinging to end the inning. He tossed 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. The Rangers' bullpen, after pitching four scoreless innings in Saturday's win, threw 7 1/3 innings in Sunday's 4-3, 13-inning victory.

"Oswalt did a great job," manager Ron Washington said. "[The bullpen] just came in and kept us around. We might have extended Joe a little more than we would have wanted to. The guys picked him up and we just kept battling and got it done."

With the Rangers having already used Tanner Scheppers, Robbie Ross, Mike Adams, and Nathan, Tateyama was the only reliever available at the time. Scott Feldman, who has bounced back and forth between the rotation and bullpen, threw 101 pitches in a start against the White Sox Wednesday and became the Rangers' eighth pitcher -- a season high - when he tossed scoreless 12th and 13th innings.

"In a situation like that, that's what we talked about before the game, [pitching in] extra innings or something like that," Feldman said. "I probably could have thrown 100 pitches. If it was either that or a position player throwing, I mean [Craig] Gentry's got a pretty good arm, but I probably would have kept running out there."

Washington said earlier this week that someone like All-Star Matt Harrison, who started Thursday against the White Sox, might be available in an emergency situation. But it was fellow All-Star Yu Darvish, who had not pitched since a July 1 loss to Oakland, that would have been the next Rangers pitcher if Feldman was pulled.

"Once again, the bullpen was outstanding," Washington said. "We were going to Darvish. You saw him in that bullpen. We were going to go to Darvish if we had to."

The Rangers currently have five pitchers on the disabled list -- Colby Lewis (forearm tightness), Neftali Feliz (elbow inflammation), Alexi Ogando (strained groin), Koji Uehara (strained lat), and Mark Lowe (strained intercostal muscle).