Nathan unavailable on Friday; Ogando will close

Nathan unavailable on Friday; Ogando will close

Nathan unavailable on Friday; Ogando will close
ARLINGTON -- Rangers closer Joe Nathan is unavailable out of the bullpen for Friday's game against the Mariners, manager Ron Washington said. Alexi Ogando, who has three saves this season, will close the game if the situation arises.

Nathan pitched three days in a row and blew his second save of the season in a 5-4 loss to the Indians on Thursday. Washington said Nathan might get Saturday off as well, if needed.

"If we have to bang him, we will," Washington said. "If he says he's fine and there's a save situation, we'll give him the ball."

The Rangers are also without setup reliever Mike Adams, who is sidelined with a strained muscle in the back of his right shoulder. Adams said he threw on Thursday and still felt some tightness. He did not throw on Friday, but may try again on Saturday.

Left-handed setup reliever Robbie Ross, who has been on the disabled list with tightness in his left forearm, threw a bullpen session on Friday without any problems. He should be activated at some point during the series with the Mariners.

The Rangers are also starting to like what they're seeing from Koji Uehara, who pitched back-to-back scoreless innings against the Indians on Wednesday and Thursday. He has been scored upon just once in eight outings since being activated off the disabled list on Aug. 25. He missed 2 1/2 months with a strained lat muscle in his right ribcage. But his 2.25 ERA is the second lowest on the staff, and his .190 opponents' batting average is the third lowest.

"He has been darting it down in the zone," Washington said. "His [split-finger fastball] has been tremendous, and he's using his slider a little bit. We've been using him a little more than we wanted, but he needs to see hitters. He's doing a great job. We still have to watch him and protect him, but he has been very convenient with his pitches."