ARLINGTON (AP) – Roy Oswalt pitched efficiently into the seventh inning in his first start of the season and the Texas Rangers won their seventh straight, beating the slumping Colorado Rockies 4-1 on Friday night.
Oswalt (1-0) allowed one run and nine hits in 6 2-3 innings to win for the first time since Sept. 27. The 34-year-old pitched with Philadelphia last season and signed with the Rangers on May 29.
Adrian Beltre and Mike Napoli both 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 won for the first time since Sept. 27 against Atlanta. His last start in the majors was Oct. 5 for Philadelphia — a loss to St. Louis in Game 4 of the NL Division Series.
The right-hander made four starts in the minors before Friday. He improved to 9-2 lifetime against Colorado.
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 that knocked Oswalt 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.
Wilin Rosario had three hits for the Rockies, who dropped to 1-12 in interleague play.
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.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)