I have not always had the nicest things to say about Scott Feldman as a starting pitcher this season. Coming into the game 0-6 on the season, something always went wrong that allowed the victory to be just out of reach. This time out, Feldman was fantastic and the offense made it so that when there was a missed opportunity defensively, it didn’t affect the outcome.
Feldman threw six innings in his longest outing of the season before Robbie Ross and Tanner Scheppers came in to close out the deal. Scheppers struggled a little bit which forced Joe Nathan to warm up in the bullpen but the crisis was averted when Scheppers retired Cameron Maybin on strikes.
Josh Hamilton returned to the Rangers lineup after missing four games with a virus that had him hospitalized Friday. No roster move was made since he never left the 25-man roster but you have to figure Leonys Martin will be sent down as soon as the Rangers return to American League baseball and will continue with a four-man bench and recall a pitcher. Things could change, though, depending on the severity of Mitch Moreland’s injury. He left the game early with a strained hamstring. Michael Young finished the game at first base for the Rangers.
Hamilton had probably the most important hit of the ballgame. He had a two-run triple in the third inning to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead and scored on Adrian Beltre’s sacrifice fly to make it 3-1 which became the winning run.
With the win, the Rangers have at least 9 wins in their last 12 games against National League opponents and will go to make it a 10-2 stretch tomorrow evening (5:35 CT) when Yu Darvish faces off against Anthony Bass. While the NL opponents aren’t the best teams the Rangers will face this season, it did allow them to turn around what was a tough beginning of the month losing back-to-back series against division rivals Los Angeles and Oakland.
Feldman was the star of the game for the Rangers tonight, and if they can count on that until Derek Holland, Roy Oswalt or Neftali Feliz are ready, he may be able to change his fate once the bullpen log jam occurs.