The Diamond Backs Beat the Rangers’ Scott Feldman Thursday to avoid the Sweep
BY: Dic Humphrey
Arizona salvaged game three of the just completed series with Texas to avoid a sweep as the Rangers clinched the series win by taking the first two games. Both of Thursday’s starting pitchers entered the game with ERA’s above six, and the Rangers’ Scott Feldman pitched to form. Arizona won 11-3 banging out 14 hits. Six of those runs, four of which were earned, came off Feldman, in five innings of work. Tanner Scheppers (two) and Yoshinori Tateyama (three) surrendered the other five runs in relief.
Lyle Overbay led the Arizona offense going 3-4 with three RBI’s. Gerardo Parra had the big blow that put the game away – a three run home run in the fifth that moved the lead to 9-1. Jason Kubel and Jesus Montero also homered for Arizona, their seventh and sixth respectively of the season.
Daniel Hudson (3-1) was coming off the worst start of his career last Friday, failing to finish the second inning and allowing six runs. He turned his fortunes around Thursday, pitching seven innings to earn the win. He struggled early as Texas tallied a run on a pair of first inning hits to take the early 1-0 lead. From there, Hudson stiffened. He allowed just three more hits on the night, didn’t walk a batter and struck out seven in seven innings. One of the other three hits was a David Murphy home run in the seventh with a runner aboard to complete the Rangers’ scoring on the evening.
The Rangers won the first two games of this series thanks to dominating pitching. Colby Lewis opened the series with his second consecutive complete game, allowing just a late home run. He won his fifth game allowing just four hits, striking out seven and walking one.
The Rangers’ offense exploded for nine runs on 16 hits in support of Lewis’s pitching effort. All nine starters had at least one hit, and five had multi-hit games. David Murphy hit the only home run.
On Wednesday, the Rangers’ Matt Harrison and Arizona’s Wade Miley turned in outstanding pitching performances. Both took shutouts into the eighth inning. Harrison took a no-decision when he came out in favor of Mike Adams, who recorded the final two outs of the inning. In the bottom half of the eighth, Texas scratched out the only run of the game off Miley. Joe Nathan came on to pitch a perfect ninth inning, including two strikeouts to earn his 13th save in 14 tries. The win went to Adams, his first of the year.
The shutout was the third for Texas in five games. The Rangers won Wednesday night despite the offense generating just three hits. It was the ninth time in franchise history for the Rangers to win a game in which they scored a lone run on three or fewer hits. The last time this happened was in 1990 (April 26), and the Ranger pitcher was Nolan Ryan, who threw a 1-hitter at the White Sox.
The Rangers hope the Arizona bats that awakened Thursday night will stay awake over the weekend. Arizona travels to Anaheim for a three-game set with the Angels, who now trail Texas by three games in the West. Texas tries to win their third series in a row as they host the Astros this weekend.
- The Rangers’ defense has been a problem for Feldman. Texas has given up seven unearned runs in Feldman’s seven starts, and his record is 0-6 on the season, with all six losses coming in games that he started.
- The Rangers are now 6-3 in inter-league play this year, having won two of three games in three inter-league series (Houston, San Francisco and Arizona).
- The Rangers announced Thursday their starting pitcher for Saturday’s game against the Astros. The rotation opening arose when Alexi Ogando was placed on the disabled list last Tuesday. Justin Grimm is the pick. He is 8-3, 1.67 at AA Frisco. Grimm was drafted in 2010 out of the University of Georgia and has been the best Ranger pitching farmhand this season in the top two minor league levels. Neftali Feliz will be transferred from the 15- to the 60-day disabled list to create a spot on the 40-man roster, and Koji Uehara will be placed on the 15-day disabled list to open a place on the active roster for Grimm. Grimm will become the eighth pitcher to start a game for Texas this year, and he will become the first player taken by the Rangers in the 2010 draft to reach the major leagues.
- Texas announced this week the signing of their top five picks in last week’s First Year Players’ Draft. Lewis Brinson, Joey Gallo, Collin Wiles, Jamie Jarmon and Nick Williams were taken in the first and second rounds with the Rangers’ two picks and three compensatory picks for the loss of free agents C. J. Wilson and Darren Oliver. The five-some are all high school players 17 or 18 years old, and have tremendous athletic ability. They average 6’-4” and 200 pounds. All will begin play in the Arizona League next week. The group has already been dubbed the “Fab Five” because of their tremendous athletic ability. It will be years before it is known how these players turn out, but with their athletic ability, they could become impact players at the major league level.
- Joe Nathan donated $500,000 to his alma mater – SUNY-Stoneybrook – for their baseball field, which of course is called Joe Nathan Field. Nathan is particularly excited over the Seawolves beating LSU last weekend in the NCAA Super Regionals to earn a berth in the College World Series. Prior to Thursday’s game, the Rangers wore Stoneybrook caps in batting practice!