Bad Inning Dooms Rangers Against Rays
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) – Scott Feldman had one bad inning and James Shields took it from there.
Feldman allowed three runs in the fourth and the Texas Rangers managed just four hits against Shields, who pitched his major league-best 11th complete game in the Tampa Bay Rays’ 5-1 victory on Monday.
Casey Kotchman drove in two with a single and another run scored on John Jaso’s double-play grounder as Tampa Bay went up 4-0 in the fourth. The Rays loaded the bases with one out on three walks from Feldman.
“Just, kind of, tried to be a little bit too fine, going for the strikeout and maybe just should have of kept my original game plan of letting them get themselves out,” Feldman said. “I had an opportunity to pitch a good game and it’s disappointing.”
Feldman (1-1) gave up four runs and four hits in five innings. The Rangers were coming off a big series at Boston during which they won two of three.
“Those walks right there (in the fourth), they delivered,” Texas manager Ron Washington said of the Rays. “Kotchman had the base hit up the middle and they scratch another run.”
Shields (14-10) struck out six and walked two. The only run he allowed came home on Michael Young’s grounder with one out in the ninth.
“He’s got a good changeup, period,” Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton said. “So, when you’ve got a good changeup, 90 (mph) looks more like 96. He looks so good to hit, and it drops off the table. He throws it and keeps it out of the strike zone. Makes it look like it’s going to be in the strike zone.”
Feldman made his second spot start this season in place of Alexi Ogando, who the Rangers thought needed a break. The right-hander threw six innings in his other start, a 2-0 win over Tampa Bay last Tuesday.
Ogando entered in the eighth and allowed a double during a scoreless inning.
Washington said it has not been determined if Ogando, who is 12-7 this season, will pitch out of the bullpen again before his next start.
“We’ve just got to wait and see how things go,” Washington said. “But we needed to get him an inning.”
Shields also became the first AL pitcher since Randy Johnson in 1993 to have at least 200 strikeouts and 10 complete games in the same season when he fanned Hamilton in the first.
The only other 200-strikeout, 10-complete game pitcher since 2000 was CC Sabathia, who accomplished the feat when he pitched for Cleveland and Milwaukee during the 2008 season.
Evan Longoria and B.J. Upton homered for the Rays, who are 24-13 since July 28. The victory was the 500th overall for Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon.
Longoria hit a solo drive in the first for his 25th homer. Upton added a solo shot in the seventh.
Texas had a runner on second with two out in the first, second and fifth, but failed to score. Shields induced a double-play grounder from Young after Hamilton drew a walk to start the fourth.
NOTES: Texas 3B Adrian Beltre, who returned from a strained left hamstring last Thursday, is scheduled to DH twice in the three-game series on artificial turf. He singled in the second and has an 11-game hitting streak. … Washington said the left index finger of LHP C.J. Wilson (14-6), Tuesday’s scheduled starter, is fine. Wilson had an infield single in his start last Thursday go off the finger. … Texas RF David Murphy was hitless in three at-bats and had his 10-game hitting streak end. … Rays RHP Jeff Niemann (9-6) will pitch against Wilson on Tuesday.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)