ROUND ROCK – Roy Oswalt didn’t look like a pitcher making his first professional start since last October. He worked out of a bases loaded jam in the first inning, and then had another scoreless inning in his two-inning start for Triple A Round Rock on Saturday night in his debut in the Texas Rangers organization.
Oswalt threw 34 pitches, 20 strikes, against the Albuquerque Isotopes, Triple A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers. He wrapped up his night with additional work in the Express bullpen. His fastball topped out at 94 mph.
Things didn’t get off to the best start for Oswalt. He gave up a single to Trent Oeltjen on a 1-2 pitch, and then walked Aaron Miles on five pitches. Josh Fields, the former Oklahoma State quarterback, reached on an infield single to load the bases. But Oswalt worked out of the jam. He struck out Jeff Baisley on three pitches, and induced an inning-ending double play by Luis Cruz.
In the second, Oswalt worked around a leadoff single by retiring the next three on a lineout to third and two groundouts.
Oswalt signed a minor-league contract worth at least $4 million on Friday. He had agreed to terms earlier in the week.
Oswalt has spent 11 years in the major leagues, including the past two with the Philadelphia Phillies. He has been named to three All-Star teams, and has finished in the top-six of the National League Cy Young voting six times.
-- Drew Davison