Rangers 7, Indians 4

Neftali Feliz is healthy and ready to make his first start for

the Texas Rangers.

The former closer pitched five innings and Mitch Moreland hit a

two-run homer to help Texas beat the Cleveland Indians 7-4 Saturday

night.

Rangers reliever Neal Cotts, in the mix for the final bullpen

spot, strained a muscle on the left side of his chest and will be

evaluated.

”There’s never a good time to get an injury,” Texas general

manager Jon Daniels said. ”It may be a seven-to-10-day thing.

Hopefully, that’s all. I think we’ll see him back out there for

us.”

Texas was without center fielder Josh Hamilton. He left Friday’s

game with a tight left groin and is day-to-day.

Michael Brantley and Jason Kipnis hit solo homers for Cleveland,

which has averaged 2.8 runs during a 10-game Cactus League losing

streak.

”I guess it is our turn this year to say spring training

doesn’t count,” said manager Manny Acta, adding that he remains

confident the Indians can score runs.

Feliz, now Texas’ No. 5 starter, allowed three runs and five

hits in his first ”A” game start since leaving a March 20 outing

with right shoulder soreness.

”I’m ready to start,” Feliz said. ”If I am healthy, I will be

ready. I had no (physical) problems. I am healthy.”

The right-hander struggled to command his overpowering fastball.

He walked three, including Lou Marson with the bases loaded.

”I’m learning to follow the rhythm of the game,” said Feliz, a

starter in the minors who has pitched 154 times for the Rangers,

all in relief. His 72 saves the past two years helped Texas to

consecutive World Series appearances.

”I thought he did well,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said.

”He had trouble finding the zone in the second, but minimized the

damage and then did well the next three innings. He had a good

changeup, breaking ball and let go a few fastballs.”

Cleveland starter Justin Masterson gave up seven hits and six

runs over 3 2-3 innings in his final tuneup for his first

opening-day start Thursday in Cleveland against Toronto.

”He was a little flat with his pitches,” Acta said. ”But he

threw 90 pitches, got stretched out and is ready for the

season.”

Acta said he will announce his opening-day roster on Sunday. It

is expected to include Jose Lopez as a utility infielder and

Shelley Duncan as the starter in left field. After hitting five

homers early, Duncan has seen his spring average dip to .167.

Either veteran Jeremy Accardo or newcomer Jairo Asencio could

get Cleveland’s final bullpen spot. Asencio, acquired from Atlanta,

gave up two hits over two scoreless innings in his Indians

debut.

Acta has tried numerous players as he seeks some offense,

particularly in the outfield where Grady Sizemore is out after back

surgery. Acta acknowledged that camp invitees have not done well

enough to claim a job.

”They haven’t got it done,” Acta said. ”But we have a better

offense than last year.”

General manager Chris Antonetti has not commented on reports

that Cleveland was close to acquiring veteran outfielder Bobby

Abreu from the Los Angeles Angels. Antonetti said Saturday that

talks had not slowed down, adding that they ”could not

intensify.”

NOTES: Texas sent five players to Triple-A Round Rock, including

LHP Michael Kirkman. … Cleveland optioned RHP Kevin Slowey to

Triple-A Columbus and tabbed RHP Jeanmar Gomez as its fifth

starter. Acta said Gomez, who strained his right hip Friday, should

be ready for his first start of the season, likely April 11.