Rangers lose a wild one to Tigers
Errant pitch costs Feldman two runs in the fourth
ARLINGTON -- Scott Feldman didn't make any excuses for his second straight short outing. It had nothing to do with the aftereffects of a stomach virus that pushed his start back a day. And it certainly didn't come down to a wild pitch.
The Texas Rangers right-hander, quite simply, expected to lead his team to a victory with a four-run lead. But he didn't do that on Saturday night.
Instead, the Detroit Tigers scored five runs in the third inning off Feldman and cruised to an 8-4 victory at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
"Just a horrible job by me," Feldman said. "I let them back in the game real quick. There's nobody to blame but myself. Just a bad, disappointing night."
It all unraveled for Feldman and the Rangers in the fourth inning.
With two outs, the Tigers had runners on second and third with Johnny Damon at the plate. Feldman unleashed a 1-2 curveball that landed in the dirt and skipped past catcher Taylor Teagarden. The ball then ricocheted off the brick backstop and down the third-base side.
Tigers second baseman Ryan Raburn scored easily on the wild pitch, followed by Ramon Santiago, who slid in safely after Teagarden couldn't hang on to Michael Young's throw home.
"That was a great play by Santiago because most people hold up at third, but he had scoring on his mind from the start," Young said. "It was a tough play. We had a play at the plate, but it's a tough ball for Teagarden to catch because he's not used to balls coming in at that angle."
Said Teagarden: "It hit the brick wall and I wasn't able to get much of a glove on it. I had no idea where it was after it hit that wall and it was just a heads-up play by Santiago. He kept running and was able to score."
After that play, Feldman gave up back-to-back doubles to Magglio Ordonez and Miguel Cabrera. That marked the end of Feldman's night, as he took the loss after going 3 2/3 innings, allowing eight runs (four earned) on eight hits with four walks and one strikeout.
In the third, Feldman surrendered three runs on a two-run double by Damon and an RBI groundout by Ordonez.
"From the get-go, I was throwing too many pitches," Feldman said. "I was just behind on everybody with three-ball counts. You can't pitch like that."
It was the second straight frustrating start for Feldman, who went 2 1/3 innings and allowed four runs on seven hits against the Yankees on April 17.
In his past two starts, Feldman said his No. 1 problem has been high pitch counts. He threw 93 pitches on Saturday and 73 against the Yankees.
"Felly just didn't have his command tonight," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "I don't believe he had a comfortable inning all night. He just didn't throw Feldman-like baseball tonight."
Indeed, it was an uncharacteristic start for Feldman, who is known for getting routine grounders with his sinking fastball. Of his 11 outs on Saturday, though, only two came on the ground.
It didn't come down to an ineffective sinker, however.
"I wasn't executing any of my pitches real well," Feldman said. "It was just a disappointing performance because I feel like I need to put zeroes up there when we have a lead."
The Rangers took the early advantage against the Tigers, who started left-handed reliever Brad Thomas at the last minute because an upset stomach sidelined Dontrelle Willis.
In the first inning, Vladimir Guerrero ripped a two-run double over Detroit center fiedler Austin Jackson to give Texas a 2-0 lead. Then, in the third, the Rangers extended their lead to 4-0 with RBI singles from Elvis Andrus and Guerrero.
That, however, was all the offense the Rangers could muster.
In the fifth, the Rangers had runners at first and second with one out, but Joaquin Arias grounded into an inning-ending double play. In the seventh, Young led off by drilling a shot to deep center, but Jackson made a nice catch on it.
"I thought we were going to blow this thing open," Washington said. "We had some runs out there after they put up the 5-spot, but we couldn't get them in.
"When you put four runs on the board early like we did, you expect to hold on to that. But they have a bunch of professional hitters in that lineup and they came through."
It was a deflating loss for the Rangers, especially after they won in walk-off fashion to open the four-game series on Friday night.
"It's not frustrating," Young said. "We feel great anytime we get Felly a lead. They just swung the bats well."
Drew Davison is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.