Closing remarks from the set-up man

It took a long time for manager Buck Showalter to publicly admit that Jim Johnson was his closer.

Is it safe to call Pedro Strop the set-up man?

Strop retired the Rays in order in the eighth inning tonight, and he struck out B.J. Upton and Jose Molina. He spun on the mound, tapped his chest and pointed to the heavens. It’s quite a show.

As I mentioned earlier, Strop has strung together 10 scoreless innings in his last eight appearances, allowing five hits, walking four and striking out seven. Opponents are 5-for-31 against him.

“I feel great,” he said. “I feel great, and even more now being that we’ve got good wins and the good team we have. Its amazing. Its unbelievable.”

As Strop stood at his locker following a 5-3 win, the Orioles and Rangers were tied for the best record in the American League at 22-12.

“Like I told you guys before, we want to win and we will do whatever we can do to win games,” he said.

“I feel good because we found people that we can play with and we can win with. A lot of people are asking me, ‘Are you surprised at this team?’ We’re not surprised. We aren’t surprised. We’ve been doing what we were hoping.

“A lot of people are surprised, but we’re not. We are going to keep winning games.”

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