Nathan, the Rangers’ sixth pitcher, worked a perfect ninth and broke the team record set by Francisco Cordero in 2004.
“His confidence level is just insane,” the setup man Mike Adams said of Nathan, who signed with Texas in the off-season. “He’s a good fit for our bullpen. He rubs off on all of us in the right way. We just try to follow his lead and do what we can to get him the ball.” Nathan did not speak with reporters.
Roy Oswalt started for Texas in place of Ryan Dempster, who missed his regular turn because of personal issues. Oswalt allowed one run and two hits in four and two-thirds innings, striking out five, walking two and balking twice in his first start since July 30.
Demoted from the rotation when Dempster was acquired from the Chicago Cubs, Oswalt was not happy about being pulled one out shy of qualifying for the victory. “I’ve started 330 games in the big leagues,” Oswalt said. “I don’t think I need to prove myself."
Rangers Manager Ron Washington said, “You could see in the third and fourth inning that he was starting to labor a little bit, because the ball started coming up and he just started missing the strike zone.”
ROYALS 9, WHITE SOX 4 Mike Moustakas drove in four runs, three on his 19th home run, and Alcides Escobar had four infield singles for host Kansas City. Escobar also scored three times and stole his 24th base.
The Royals withstood Adam Dunn’s 400th career homer. Dunn drove in Kevin Youkilis with his home run in the eighth. He has 35 homers, leading the majors, and he is the 50th player to hit 400.
ORIOLES 3, TIGERS 2 Chris Davis broke a scoreless tie in the seventh with a three-run homer, and Baltimore ended host Detroit’s winning streak at four games.
Zach Britton (2-1) struck out five in seven sparkling innings, and Jim Johnson finished for his 36th save.
REDS 5, CUBS 3 Johnny Cueto pitched eight innings to go 11-0 in 13 daytime starts as host Cincinnati, leading the National League Central, beat Chicago in the first game of a doubleheader.
Cueto (16-6) allowed a two-run homer to Alfonso Soriano in the top of the first inning, then held the Cubs to two more hits. Cueto’s earned average in 13 daytime starts is 1.62.
“I like throwing at night, but I like pitching in the day, too,” Cueto said through an interpreter. “It’s not really different. It’s all in how I get prepared the night before day games.”
Cueto tied David Price of the Tampa Bay Rays for the major league lead in victories.
Todd Frazier’s solo home run in the fourth, his 17th homer, broke a 2-2 tie and put the Reds ahead to stay. On Friday night, a Frazier homer put the Reds ahead for good in a 7-3 victory.
Soriano’s homer in the first gave him 1,000 runs batted in.
DODGERS 6, BRAVES 2 Hanley Ramirez drove in four runs with two homers, including the first of three straight shots by visiting Los Angeles in the second inning.
Ramirez, James Loney and Luis Cruz hit consecutive homers in four pitches from Atlanta starter Ben Sheets, giving the Dodgers a 3-1 lead. Ramirez drove in three more runs in the sixth with his 18th home run. The four home runs were the Dodgers’ only hits.
CARDINALS 5, PIRATES 4 Yadier Molina, back in the lineup after missing three games with a sore back, had three hits and drove in two runs as host St. Louis pulled to one game behind Pittsburgh for the second N.L. wild-card berth. Molina’s two-run double broke a 3-3 tie in the fifth.
The Cardinals’ Jaime Garcia is expected to come off the disabled list Sunday to start the series finale against Jeff Karstens.
MATTINGLY SUSPENDED Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly was suspended for two games and fined an undisclosed amount by Major League Baseball for “excessive arguing” with the home-plate umpire Angel Campos on Thursday. The suspension began with the game against the Braves.
BRAVES’ MCCANN OUT AGAIN Atlanta catcher Brian McCann, who has a cyst and a frayed labrum in his right shoulder, was out of the lineup for the second straight day, but he insisted he should be starting. “I can do all the things I need to do to play,” McCann said. Manager Fredi Gonzalez said McCann would start Sunday.
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