There may not have been a better time for his first outing given the opponent.
Oswalt will look to continue his dominance of the sputtering Colorado Rockies when he makes his Rangers debut Friday night in Arlington.
Texas signed Oswalt on May 29 and he made four starts in the minors, the last coming Sunday for Triple-A Round Rock. The right-hander didn't sign with another team in the offseason and turned down other offers after the season began.
He made his last start for Philadelphia in Game 4 of the NL division series - a loss to St. Louis on Oct. 5.
"He's ready to go," manager Ron Washington told the team's official website. "That's what we brought him for, to bring him to the big leagues, and he's ready. We challenge him now."
Oswalt said he's excited to make his first start for Texas after rebuilding his arm strength during his minor league starts.
"Every player looks forward to the competition. You miss that," said Oswalt, who posted a 5.87 ERA in his stint in the minors. "I'm looking forward to it. I'm hoping to help get this team back in the playoffs and push them through the last game."
Oswalt's history against Colorado suggests he'll get off to a good start. He's 8-2 with a 1.94 ERA in 12 starts versus the Rockies, marking his best ERA against any of the 16 teams he's faced more than three times.
The AL West-leading Rangers (43-27) have won six straight after Wednesday's 4-2 victory over San Diego, improving to a major league-best 12-3 in interleague play.
They'll face a Rockies team coming off a rare victory.
Colorado (26-42) won for only the second time in 14 games by beating Philadelphia 4-1 on Thursday. Catcher Wilin Rosario homered for the second straight day and has 11 to lead all rookies. He's hitting .368 over his last five games."Rosario had another good game and a big at-bat," manager Jim Tracy said. "We have a chance to have a special player on our hands."
Carlos Gonzalez , who is hitting .400 over his last nine games despite going 0 for 4 on Thursday, is 0 for 6 with three strikeouts versus Oswalt.
"He's a pretty smart pitcher who's got really good stuff," Gonzalez said. "We just need to see what he's got and just be patient and see what he's gonna (pitch) to us."
Tracy switched to a four-man rotation and has been limiting his starters to 75 pitches since Tuesday, and he didn't hesitate to remove Jeff Francis after five innings and 76 pitches Wednesday."No, and the reason why is if we're going to find out about this, we have to continue to do it," Tracy said.
Christian Friedrich (4-3, 5.60 ERA) is next up to test Tracy's unorthodox method.
The left-hander hasn't thrown fewer than 93 pitches this season, tossing 98 in losing each of his last two starts. Friedrich allowed nine runs in four innings of a home loss to the Los Angeles Angels on June 10, then gave up two earned runs in five innings in Saturday's 4-1 defeat at Detroit.
Though the rookie is 1-2 with a 12.60 ERA in three starts at Coors Field, he's 3-1 with a 2.10 ERA in five road outings.
Texas has outscored opponents 54-26 while going 9-1 in its last 10 games.
|June 17, 2012||Carlos Gonzalez||Day-to-Day||Sore right hamstring|
|June 03, 2012||Juan Nicasio||15-Day DL||Strained left knee|
|June 02, 2012||Jordan Pacheco||Day-to-Day||Sore left quadricep|
|June 02, 2012||Juan Nicasio||Day-to-Day||Left game - strained left knee|
|May 31, 2012||Troy Tulowitzki||15-Day DL||Strained left groin muscle|
|May 24, 2012||Ramon Hernandez||15-Day DL||Strained muscle, left hand|
|June 16, 2012||Josh Hamilton||Day-to-Day||Intestinal virus|
|June 14, 2012||Koji Uehara||Day-to-Day||Strained right lat muscle|
|June 11, 2012||Alexi Ogando||15-Day DL||Strained right groin|
|June 10, 2012||Koji Uehara||15-Day DL||Strained right lat muscle|
|June 06, 2012||Derek Holland||15-Day DL||Let shoulder fatigue|
|May 26, 2012||Mike Napoli||Day-to-Day||Flu|
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Roy Oswalt looked right at home in his debut with the Texas Rangers .
Making his first major league start in over eight months, Oswalt pitched effectively into the seventh inning and the Rangers won their seventh straight game, beating the slumping Colorado Rockies 4-1 on Friday night.
Oswalt, who pitched more than 10 years in the National League with Houston and Philadelphia, made four minor league starts after signing with the Rangers May 29.
The 34-year-old Oswalt won his 160th career game and his first since beating Atlanta on Sept. 27. He allowed nine hits and one run in 6 2-3 innings.
"I won't tell you I wasn't nervous," said Oswalt, who threw 81 of his 110 pitches for strikes. "If you don't have butterflies, you might as well get out of the game."
Oswalt last pitched in the majors on Oct. 5 - a Game 4 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLDS.
The Rockies probably felt the time off hadn't hurt Oswalt. The right-hander improved to 9-2 lifetime against Colorado with a 1.89 ERA, his best mark against any of the 16 teams he's faced more than three times.
"He was ready to pitch and he pitched like Roy Oswalt ," Rangers manager Ron Washington said.
Adrian Beltre and Mike Napoli homered for Texas, which improved to a major-league best 13-3 in interleague play.
Christian Friedrich (4-4) allowed four runs and seven hits in six innings for the Rockies, who have lost 13 of 15.
Oswalt, who struck out six and walked one, was sharp from the start. His fastball was clocked in the low 90s and he showed off his slow curveball that confused Colorado hitters most of the game.
The Rockies didn't muster much against Oswalt until breaking through in the seventh.
Dexter Fowler tripled with two outs and Texas pitching coach Mike Maddux made a trip to the mound to check on Oswalt. Marco Scutaro lined a double to right to force the right-hander out of the game.
Oswalt, who was shaking his head as he walked to the dugout, left to a standing ovation. Robbie Ross relieved Oswalt and retired Carlos Gonzalez on a grounder to end the seventh.
Joe Nathan pitched a perfect ninth to earn his 16th save in 17 chances. This is the Rangers' longest winning streak since taking eight straight April 12-21.
"These guys have been rolling," Oswalt said. "I was just trying to keep it going."
Wilin Rosario had three hits for the Rockies, who dropped to 1-12 in interleague play.
The Rockies left 10 men on base in the game and hit into double plays in the seventh and eighth.
"We didn't play a bad ballgame at all," Colorado manager Jim Tracy said. "We had a bunch of hits. We just couldn't get the big hits."
Beltre hit a two-run homer in the first that just cleared the fence in right. It was his 13th of the season.
Nelson Cruz had an RBI double before Napoli lined his 12th home run of the season to right to make it 4-0 in the fourth.
Texas catcher Yorvit Torrealba was thrown out by left fielder Gonzalez at home plate in the second trying to score Craig Gentry 's single. It was one of four outs the Rangers made on the bases.
Notes: To make from for Oswalt on the roster, 1B Mitch Moreland (left hamstring strain) was placed on the 15-day DL. . Rockies IF Jonathan Herrera was activated from the 15-day DL Friday and made his third career start at SS. . Rangers LHP Derek Holland (left shoulder fatigue) threw 42 pitches in a bullpen session. He will throw again in the bullpen Sunday or Monday. . Beltre hit a liner off Friedrich's back in the fourth, but the left-hander remained in the game.