Feldman comes up big for Rangers

BY foxsports • July 23, 2012

ARLINGTON, Texas — On a day when the Texas Rangers
lost their most consistent pitcher from the 2010 and 2011 seasons, Scott
Feldman turned back the clock to his 2009 form.

Feldman, making a spot start for Roy Oswalt, pitched seven strong innings as
the Rangers opened a 10-game homestand with a 9-1 victory over Boston.

Feldman, a 17-game winner in 2009, picked up the Rangers just after the club
found out Colby Lewis would miss the remainder of the season because of a torn
right flexor tendon. The Rangers are now down a starter and must explore all
avenues to fill the void in their rotation.

Feldman (4-6) would like to think that a performance like Monday would at least
keep him in the mix.

"I think it can't hurt to go out there and do as well as you can,"
said Feldman, who pitched a season-high seven innings, allowed one run and
struck out five. "I'm not the decision maker. Hopefully people are
confident in me, as confident in me as I am in myself. I want to be in there
and contributing and helping out around here."

He did that Monday. Feldman allowed a solo homer to Jarrod Saltalamacchia in
the second inning that gave the Red Sox a 1-0 lead. That would be it for Boston
though as Feldman mixed his cutter and sinker. He gave up seven hits and didn't
walk a batter as he won his fourth consecutive decision.

It also helped that Feldman got a big night from the offense as the Rangers
matched their July-high with nine runs. Texas broke the game open with four
runs in the third off Red Sox lefty Felix Doubront. A double steal by Craig
Gentry and Ian Kinsler opened the door for the big inning and hits by Elvis
Andrus, Josh Hamilton and Michael Young allowed the Rangers to break through.

Texas then put the game out of reach with five runs in a sixth inning that was
keyed by a two-run homer from Mike Napoli, who has now homered three times in
the last three games.

While the Rangers were happy to get the offense going, it was the pitching of
Feldman that stole the show.

"That was a big start for us," said Kinsler, who had three hits and
scored a pair of runs. "Really enough said. That's just a big start. He
went deep into the game and threw great. He was working his sinker and cutter
on both sides of the plate and when he's doing that you see what happens."

Feldman said he felt the best he has physically Monday. He hadn't pitched in 14
days but was able to throw 105 pitches, 66 of them for strikes. He said if he
would have thought about the layoff, he might not have pitched as well. He
approached his start like it was his regular turn in the rotation.

Whether or not that happens remains to be seen, but Texas manager Ron
Washington couldn't have asked for more out of Feldman against a Boston team
that is 0-3 against the Rangers this year.

He certainly didn't pitch his way out of contention.

"We're looking at a lot of guys for that spot," Washington said.
"What Feldman did tonight certainly gives him the opportunity. We're not
going to anoint anyone right now. We're just going to keep playing ball and see
what happens."

What happened Monday was Feldman flashing his old form. It couldn't have come
at a better time.

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