Oswalt returns in style as Rangers down Rockies
(Reuters) - Roy Oswalt returned to the major leagues with style as he fired the Texas Rangers to a 4-1 win over the Colorado Rockies in Arlington on Friday.
The Rangers signed 34-year-old Oswalt to a minor league contract on May 29 but promoted him after just four starts in the minors.
The right-hander allowed one run from six and two-third innings in his first start since pitching for Philadelphia in Game Four of the 2011 National League Division Series.
Oswalt helped Texas improve to 44-27 to lead the way in the American League West on the back of seven straight wins.
The Rockies dropped to 26-43, having won just 13 of their last 15.
"My command felt pretty good," Oswalt said.
"I was able to keep the ball down in the zone. The command of all my pitches was there. If I can keep this kind of command all year, I'll be happy."
Rangers manager Ron Washington was full of praise for Oswalt's debut in a Texas kit.
"I thought Roy Oswalt's performance was outstanding," he said. "He was around the plate with his fastball, he had a good changeup working, a good breaking ball and he kept the defense engaged.
"For the most part, he kept the ball down. He did an outstanding job. He was ready."
Adrian Beltre hammered a two-run homer in the bottom of the first to get the Rangers on their way.
The home team doubled the lead in the fourth inning, Nelson Cruz driving in Beltre before Mike Napoli sent the ball into the right field stands for a solo home run.
Oswalt began to tire in the seventh and was pulled after Dexter Fowler tripled to left field and Marco Scutaro drove him home for the Rockies' only score.
Any hope of a Colorado fightback was dashed when they failed to convert three hits in the eighth and then went hitless in the ninth.
(Writing by Ben Everill in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford)
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