ARLINGTON, Texas The biggest difference over the last seven weeks for the Rangers as they steadily tracked down the Houston Astros was the remaking of the bullpen.
It was the biggest difference between the two teams this week as well, as the Rangers not only caught Houston, but passed them and then kicked a bit of red dirt in their faces by completing a four-game sweep Thursday night.
A 6-2 win turned on the Rangers' ability to shut down Houston late with waves of fresh arms. The Astros, who didn't invest nearly as big in the bullpen at the trade deadline, couldn't do the same. As a result, the Rangers lead in the AL West grew to 2 1/2 games with 16 to play.