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    Rockies 6, Rangers 1

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    SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) - As a closer, Neftali Feliz needed a fastball and velocity more than finesse and defense.

    Not so as a starter.

    Feliz used his fastball early before relying on his slider and changeup to escape trouble twice, giving up a run in three innings of the Texas Rangers' 6-1 loss to the Colorado Rockies split squad Wednesday.

    "I felt comfortable," said Feliz, who allowed four hits and struck out three. "I was trying to hit my spots and I did it. You have to feel confident."

    Feliz started strong, striking out Eric Young Jr. on three pitches and then striking out two of the next three batters, primarily using his blazing fastball.

    But when the Rockies hitters started settling in and five of seven batters reached base, Feliz went to his secondary pitches to induce inning-ending double plays in the second and third to limit the damage.

    "You can't rely only on your fastball," Feliz said. "You have to be comfortable with any pitches you can use to get outs."

    Feliz was a starter in the minors before earning the closer's role the past two seasons. Last spring, the team flirted with dropping Feliz into the rotation before moving him back to the bullpen midway through camp.

    "I appreciate the team giving me the chance because it always was my dream to be a starter in the major leagues," Feliz said. "You stay more with your teammates in the game, you think more about what you have to do and the adrenaline goes even higher because you're going to be in the game longer."

    Feliz now is throwing four pitches consistently - a fastball, curve, slider and changeup - and Texas manager Ron Washington said that's enough.

    "He doesn't need seven pitches . cuttin', sinkin', splittin'," Washington said with a laugh.

    Feliz also received some help from his outfielders. Marco Scutaro lifted a high fly ball that Josh Hamilton pulled back from over the left field bullpen wall in the first.

    The scene was replayed in the third when Nelson Cruz made a leaping catch of Tim Wheeler's fly to right inches in front of the top of the wall.

    Hamilton left the game one inning after his defensive gem when he jammed his right heel stopping himself after chasing a double down the line by Todd Helton.

    Helton finished 2 for 3 with two doubles and an RBI, and Jordan Pacheco went 3 for 3 with three runs driven in.

    Rockies right-hander Tyler Chatwood made a strong statement in his bid for a spot at the tail end of the Colorado rotation.

    Chatwood held the Rangers to one run on four hits. He walked one, struck out two and threw 30 of 50 pitches for strikes.

    "Early on I was getting ahead of the hitters and just kind of not letting them battle back in the counts," said Chatwood, who faced Texas a handful of times last season while with the Los Angeles Angels. "Later I was falling behind but trying to battle back and I made some good pitches when I needed to."

    Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler returned to the lineup after missing three games with stiffness in his lower back and had two of the Rangers' six hits.

    NOTES: Chatwood got some defensive help of his own when Scutaro caught Kinsler too far past third base after Elvis Andrus' single in the third and started an inning-ending rundown. . Hamilton was icing his heel in the clubhouse and is listed as day-to-day. . Rangers C Mike Napoli missed his fourth straight game with a strained left groin muscle. Napoli likely will DH when he returns rather than move immediately behind the plate. . Rockies 3B Casey Blake sat out his third straight game with a stiff neck.

     
    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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    Colorado Rockies
    HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
    Eric Young Jr., CF4011020 .167
        Kent Matthes, RF2000004 .167
    Marco Scutaro, 2B1100200 .143
       a- Thomas Field, PH-2B1010100 .286
    Troy Tulowitzki, SS3110011 .357
       b- Chris Nelson, PH-SS^3B2000003 .238
    Jason Giambi, DH1100110 .500
       c- Matt McBride, PH-DH2000114 .000
    Todd Helton, 1B3221001 .364
        Chad Tracy, 1B1000101 .167
    Jordan Pacheco, C3033000 .467
        Wilin Rosario, C2000003 .294
    Tyler Colvin, RF-CF4011012 .286
    Brendan Harris, 3B4120001 .353
       d- Warren Schaeffer, PH-SS1000010 .000
    Tim Wheeler, LF3010102 .308
       e- Michael Mitchell, PH-LF10100001.000
    Totals38613677  
    a-singled for Scutaro in the 6th
    b-lined out for Tulowitzki in the 6th
    c-struck out for Giambi in the 5th
    d-struck out for Harris in the 9th
    e-singled for Wheeler in the 9th
    Batting
    2B - Todd Helton 2 (3, Feliz, Green), Jordan Pacheco 2 (3, Feliz, Kirkman)
    SF - Tyler Colvin (1)
    RBI - Eric Young Jr. (3), Todd Helton (2), Jordan Pacheco 3 (3), Tyler Colvin (3)
    2-OUT RBI - Todd Helton (2), Jordan Pacheco 2 (2)
    SB - Eric Young Jr. (3, 2nd base off Feliz/Martinez)
    Team LOB - 13
    Fielding
    DP - Tulowitzki-Helton, Harris-Field-Tracy
    Colorado Rockies
    PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
    Tyler Chatwood (W,1-1) 4411120 3.86
    Edwar Cabrera (H,1) 2100210 6.75
    Josh Sullivan (H,1) 1100020 0.00
    Dustin Molleken (H,1) 1000100 3.00
    Carlos Torres 1000020 2.25
    Pitches-Strikes - Tyler Chatwood 50-30, Edwar Cabrera 41-24, Josh Sullivan 11-10, Dustin Molleken 9-4, Carlos Torres 18-12
    Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tyler Chatwood 4-4, Dustin Molleken 2-0
    Batters Faced - Tyler Chatwood 15, Edwar Cabrera 9, Josh Sullivan 4, Dustin Molleken 3, Carlos Torres 3
    Texas Rangers
    HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
    Ian Kinsler, 2B3021000 .294
        Alberto Gonzalez, PR-2B1000002 .222
    Elvis Andrus, SS3010003 .450
        Greg Miclat, SS0000100 .235
    Josh Hamilton, LF1000000 .158
        Leonys Martin, LF-CF2000111 .188
    Adrian Beltre, 3B3000001 .263
        Mike Olt, 3B1000001 .238
    Michael Young, DH3010010 .294
       a- Tommy Mendonca, PH-DH1000010 .500
    Nelson Cruz, RF2000111 .316
        Kyle Hudson, PR-RF1000010 .154
    Mitch Moreland, 1B3000011 .208
        Engel Beltre, LF1000000 .267
    Luis Martinez, C2000000 .583
        Chris Robinson, C1010000 .286
    Julio Borbon, CF1110100 .385
       b- Brad Hawpe, PH-1B1000012 .500
    Totals3016147  
    a-struck out for Young in the 9th
    b-struck out for Borbon in the 7th
    Batting
    2B - Michael Young (3, Chatwood), Julio Borbon (1, Chatwood)
    RBI - Ian Kinsler (1)
    2-OUT RBI - Ian Kinsler (1)
    Team LOB - 6
    Fielding
    DP - Kinsler-Andrus-Moreland, Andrus-Kinsler-Moreland
    E - Adrian Beltre (2, Misplayed grounder)
    Texas Rangers
    PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
    Neftali Feliz 3411130 7.20
    Michael Kirkman (L,0-1) 1111100 10.50
    Sean Green 0.2333120 7.36
    Neal Cotts 1.1311000 6.23
    Cody Eppley 1100210 6.00
    Miguel De Los Santos 1000200 9.64
    Justin Miller 1100010 0.00
    Pitches-Strikes - Neftali Feliz 47-32, Michael Kirkman 20-11, Sean Green 27-12, Neal Cotts 14-11, Cody Eppley 26-13, Miguel De Los Santos 18-8, Justin Miller 12-8
    Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Neftali Feliz 2-2, Michael Kirkman 2-2, Neal Cotts 3-1, Cody Eppley 2-0, Miguel De Los Santos 2-1, Justin Miller 1-1
    Batters Faced - Neftali Feliz 12, Michael Kirkman 6, Sean Green 6, Neal Cotts 7, Cody Eppley 6, Miguel De Los Santos 5, Justin Miller 4
    Game Information
    Attendance - 8673
    Game Time - 2:51
    Temperature - 76
    Umpires - Home - Todd Tichenor, First Base - Ted Barrett, Second Base - Lance Barrett, Third Base - Toby Basner