Texas at Milwaukee

Scoreboard
Texas (34-28) «200001010490
Milwaukee (26-36)000000012390

Rangers 4, Brewers 3

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MILWAUKEE -- Chris Ray started throwing curveballs in games about a month ago after playing with the pitch with teammate Darren Oliver.

Ray's rare offering saved Texas' bullpen from a big meltdown.

The former Baltimore closer saved his first game since 2007 by getting Prince Fielder to pop up after the other relievers nearly blew Scott Feldman's six scoreless innings in Texas' 4-3 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday night.

"I've been working it in a good bit lately, it's good against lefties," said Ray, who isn't sure the pitch is on scouting reports yet. "The ball's not moving towards them. It's a good difference off the speed of my fastball. It's a good pitch to get guys off-balance."

It was also effective just in time to get the Rangers out of a giant jam.

Ray came in with one out and the bases loaded after closer Neftali Feliz allowed an RBI single to Rickie Weeks that made it 4-2. He got NL home run leader Corey Hart to hit into a run-scoring fielder's choice before forcing Fielder to pop out to left field on a full-count fastball to finish 0 for 5.

"The guy can hit fastballs, he's proven that," Ray said. "I tried to get ahead of him, really didn't do it. I had to give him his fastball. It looked like he was right on it, fouled it straight back.

"That's when I started throwing the curveball. Then I thought after I slowed him down a little bit, I'd be able to beat his bat a little bit with the fastball."

Josh Hamilton hit his 14th homer of the season and Feldman (4-6) left with a 4-0 lead, looking closer to the 17-game winner he was last season than the player who had given up three runs or more in six of his previous seven starts.

Oliver pitched a scoreless seventh, Frank Francisco allowed an RBI double to Ryan Braun in the eighth and it looked as if the Brewers might rally off Feliz in the ninth.

Instead, Ray saved his first game since July 15, 2007. He had reconstructive elbow surgery the next month and hadn't been back in a closer's role since.

"Last year it was rough, the whole season I had a problem with mechanics and trying to find my arm slot," Ray said. "This year, finally, I can go out there and pitch without having to think about mechanics."

Justin Smoak's two-run double in the first and Hamilton's sixth-inning shot off Brewers starter Manny Parra (1-4) gave Texas a 3-0 lead. Hamilton extended his hitting streak to nine, picking up the offense with Vladimir Guerrero sitting out every other game of this interleague trip.

David Murphy's RBI single in the eighth off reliever Chris Capuano made it 4-0.

Feldman had gone 17 starts without a scoreless appearance and escaped big jams in the first and second innings that started because of his questionable command. He hit Weeks with a pitch, walked three and plunked home plate umpire Gary Cederstrom twice with pitches in consecutive innings when catcher Matt Treanor couldn't handle the throws.

"I kept hitting him. I felt bad, I was like, 'Please don't hold that against me,"' Feldman said. "I got crossed up with Matty there. I threw a changeup and he was expecting a curveball.

"I was finding all ways to hit him."

All that may have played into his favor after he settled down.

The Brewers looked uncomfortable against him. Feldman struck out a season-high six, including Fielder and Jim Edmonds twice.

"He threw really well," Hart said. "We looked at some of his previous starts, and his curveball wasn't nearly as effective as it was tonight."

Milwaukee is 4-17 when failing to hit a home run. Hart, Fielder, Braun and Casey McGehee finished 2 of 17 with five strikeouts after all four had homered the night before.

The Rangers sat Guerrero and his majors-leading 54 RBI because manager Ron Washington wants to limit his innings in the outfield on this nine-game trip.

And while it appeared there would be a big hole in the lineup, Smoak and Hamilton gave the Rangers enough runs to rebound from a 6-2 loss in Friday's opener after scoring 31 in their previous three games, all wins.

"Our lineup is really dangerous when we can get everyone one through nine working," said Michael Young, who is two hits away from tying Ivan Rodriguez's franchise record with 1,747. "When the bottom third of our lineup gets going, we have a chance to be a pretty dynamic offense."

Notes

Pinch hitter Julio Borbon extended his hitting streak to 10 when he beat out a bunt in the ninth. ... Weeks got his 500th career hit with a double in the fifth. ... Rangers RHP Rich Harden (strained left gluteus muscle) went on the 15-day disabled list. ... Milwaukee sends ace RHP Yovani Gallardo (6-2, 2.41 ERA) to face RHP Colby Lewis (5-4, 3.40) in the series finale Sunday.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Players of the Game
Texas

I. Kinsler
AB 5
R 2
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
Milwaukee

R. Weeks
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
 

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Texas Rangers
Elvis Andrus, SS4010010 .300
Michael Young, 3B4110111 .325
Ian Kinsler, 2B5220013 .270
Josh Hamilton, LF5111036 .305
Justin Smoak, 1B4012010 .220
David Murphy, RF2011200 .263
Matt Treanor, C3000103 .218
Craig Gentry, CF4010022 .226
Scott Feldman, P2000010 .000
   a- Joaquin Arias, PH1000000 .284
    Darren Oliver, P0000000 .000
    Frank Francisco, P0000000 .000
   b- Julio Borbon, PH1010000 .282
    Neftali Feliz, P0000000 .000
    Chris Ray, P0000000 .000
Totals35494410  
a-flied out for Feldman in the 7th
b-hit a bunt single for Francisco in the 9th
Batting
2B - Justin Smoak (7, Parra)
HR - Josh Hamilton (14, Parra)
SH - Elvis Andrus (9)
RBI - Josh Hamilton (43), Justin Smoak 2 (24), David Murphy (20)
2-OUT RBI - Justin Smoak 2 (11), David Murphy (9)
SB - David Murphy (2, 2nd base off Parra/Lucroy)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Andrus-Kinsler-Smoak, Andrus-Kinsler-Smoak
Texas Rangers
Scott Feldman (W,4-6) 6400360 5.28
Darren Oliver (H,8) 1100000 1.48
Frank Francisco 1211020 4.67
Neftali Feliz (H,3) 0.1222200 3.29
Chris Ray (S,1) 0.2000000 3.33
HBP - Weeks (by Scott Feldman)
WP - Scott Feldman (8)
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Feldman 105-60, Darren Oliver 16-11, Frank Francisco 26-18, Neftali Feliz 24-12, Chris Ray 12-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Feldman 9-1, Darren Oliver 1-1, Neftali Feliz 1-0, Chris Ray 1-1
Batters Faced - Scott Feldman 24, Darren Oliver 3, Frank Francisco 5, Neftali Feliz 5, Chris Ray 2
Milwaukee Brewers
Rickie Weeks, 2B4131003 .263
Corey Hart, RF4001111 .262
Prince Fielder, 1B5000034 .262
Ryan Braun, LF4021001 .302
Casey McGehee, 3B4000012 .278
Jim Edmonds, CF4010020 .271
Jonathan Lucroy, C4130001 .333
Alcides Escobar, SS2100202 .244
Manny Parra, P1000111 .111
    David Riske, P0000000 .000
   a- Carlos Gomez, PH1000000 .248
    Chris Capuano, P0000000 .000
    Trevor Hoffman, P0000000 .000
   b- Joe Inglett, PH0000100 .340
Totals3339358  
a-fouled out for Riske in the 7th
b-walked for Hoffman in the 9th
Batting
2B - Rickie Weeks 2 (12, Feldman, Francisco), Ryan Braun 2 (19, Feldman, Francisco), Jim Edmonds (12, Feldman)
RBI - Rickie Weeks (34), Corey Hart (42), Ryan Braun (40)
2-OUT RBI - Ryan Braun (19)
SB - Jonathan Lucroy (1, 2nd base off Feldman/Treanor), Alcides Escobar (3, 2nd base off Feldman/Treanor)
CS - Rickie Weeks (3, 3rd base by Feldman/Treanor)
Team LOB - 9
Milwaukee Brewers
Manny Parra (L,1-4) 6533381 4.04
David Riske 1000010 0.00
Chris Capuano 1211010 7.71
Trevor Hoffman 1200100 9.90
IBB - Young by Trevor Hoffman
WP - Manny Parra 2 (5)
Pitches-Strikes - Manny Parra 105-65, David Riske 15-10, Chris Capuano 15-9, Trevor Hoffman 14-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Manny Parra 4-6, Trevor Hoffman 1-2
Batters Faced - Manny Parra 26, David Riske 3, Chris Capuano 5, Trevor Hoffman 6
Game Information
Attendance - 39791
Game Time - 3:16
Temperature - 62
Umpires - Home - Gary Cederstrom, First Base - Ed Hickox, Second Base - Field Culbreth, Third Base - Marty Foster