The Texas Rangers take on the Colorado Rockies tonight in the much-anticipated Ranger debut of Roy Oswalt. The Rangers, looking to extend their current six-game winning streak, are hoping Oswalt will fill a much needed hole in their injury-ridden pitching staff. So far tonight, he has.
Oswalt got off to a solid start, retiring the first two hitters he faced. Carlos Gonzalez doubled to left on a fly ball that Josh Hamilton lost in the setting sun. Under normal conditions, the ball would have likely been caught. Oswalt shook it off though and struck out Jason Giambi to retire the side.
The Rangers wasted no time getting Oswalt run support. Hamilton reached with a two-out walk. After falling behind in the count 0-2, Adrian Beltre worked a full count and knocked a two-run home run to right to put the Rangers up 2-0.
In the bottom of the fourth Nelson Cruz knocked an RBI double that scored Beltre from first. Cruz was caught in a rundown though trying to advance to third. The baserunning mistake was ill-timed, as the next batter, Mike Napoli, hit a solo home run to right to put the Rangers up 4-0.
Oswalt has pitched very well through the first five innings, allowing no runs and retiring eight in a row at one point. He's allowed only five hits, with four strikeouts and no walks. The biggest reason for his success so far has been his command. Of his 72 pitches, 54 have been strikes and seven Rockies hitters have had to deal with 0-2 counts, while only one has reached a 2-0 count.