|Texas (25-15) «||0||0||2||0||1||0||1||0||0||4||11||0|
HOUSTON -- Rangers starter Neftali Feliz couldn't locate his pitches Friday night. The relievers who came out of Texas's bullpen had no problem in that area, though.
Feliz allowed three hits and a run with five walks in 4 2/3 innings -- his shortest start of the year.
"It all comes down to, he just couldn't command the baseball and he just couldn't find the rhythm that he needed," Texas manager Ron Washington said.
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Feliz was relieved by Robbie Ross (5-0), who allowed one hit in 2 1/3 innings for the win.
Joe Nathan pitched a perfect ninth for his ninth save. He has appeared in four straight games for the first time since September 2009.
"Showed me the professional he is, showed me the great teammate that he is, showed me that he will do whatever he has to do to make things happen for his team," Washington said. "We certainly appreciate what he's done because we called on him way beyond his duty the past few days."
Nathan doesn't mind pitching several days in a row.
"It's a situation where I'm feeling better now, feeling stronger and I think everybody here is getting more comfortable with putting me out there on consecutive days," he said.
The Rangers were up 3-1 when Beltre belted his eighth homer, a two-out solo shot to left-center in the seventh inning. Beltre, who has a season-high nine-game hitting streak, put Texas on top 1-0 in the third with a sacrifice fly. He also doubled in the fifth and scored on Young's double to make it 3-1.
Young entered the game in a 0-for-11 slide and was 5 for 41 with one RBI in his previous nine games.
Facing a left-handed starter for the seventh time in their past 12 games, the Rangers got to Wandy Rodriguez (3-4) for a season-high 10 hits and three runs in six innings.
The crowd of 34,715 was much larger than what Houston has been drawing this season. Many fans were rooting for the Rangers, with chants of "Let's go Rangers!" breaking out sporadically and bellows of "Cruuuuuz" filling the park each time right fielder Nelson Cruz was at the plate. Some of the loudest cheers of the night came when Texas president Nolan Ryan, who pitched for both the Astros and Rangers, threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
Kinsler opened the third inning with a double, which bounced off the wall in center field. Hamilton singled with one out before Kinsler scored on the sacrifice fly by Beltre to make it 1-0. Hamilton stole second base before scoring on a single by Cruz to put Texas up 2-0.
Beltre and Young hit back-to-back one-out doubles to tack on a run in the fifth.
Altuve walked in the fifth and a walk by Lowrie with two outs chased Feliz. He was replaced by Ross, who retired Brian Bogusevic to end the inning.
Bogusevic singled with one out in the second. Feliz then plunked Chris Johnson in the back with a pitch before walking Jason Castro. Feliz worked out of the bases-loaded jam with a strikeout by Rodriguez and a flyout by Jordan Schafer.
"We had guys on base, but when you play teams like this you have to get that big hit," Johnson said. "You have to get some runs across. One run isn't going to cut it."
Feliz said through a translator that he was frustrated and felt uncomfortable because of his lack of command.
|Adrian Beltre goes 2 for 3 with a solo home run to lead the Rangers past the Astros. (US Presswire)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Ian Kinsler, 2B||5||1||3||0||0||0||0||.287|
|Elvis Andrus, SS||4||0||1||0||0||1||2||.318|
|Josh Hamilton, LF||5||1||1||0||0||2||1||.392|
|Adrian Beltre, 3B||3||2||2||2||0||0||1||.311|
|Michael Young, 1B||3||0||2||1||1||0||0||.277|
|Nelson Cruz, RF||4||0||1||1||0||1||2||.265|
|Mike Napoli, C||4||0||0||0||0||2||3||.242|
|Craig Gentry, CF||3||0||1||0||1||1||0||.328|
|Neftali Feliz, P||2||0||0||0||0||1||3||.000|
|Robbie Ross, P||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.000|
|Koji Uehara, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Mitch Moreland, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.280|
|Joe Nathan, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-grounded out for Uehara in the 9th|
|2B - Ian Kinsler (12, Rodriguez), Adrian Beltre (9, Rodriguez), Michael Young (8, Rodriguez)|
|HR - Adrian Beltre (8, F. Rodriguez)|
|SF - Adrian Beltre (3)|
|RBI - Adrian Beltre 2 (25), Michael Young (21), Nelson Cruz (21)|
|2-OUT RBI - Adrian Beltre (12), Nelson Cruz (11)|
|SB - Elvis Andrus (8, 2nd base off Cruz/Castro), Josh Hamilton (3, 2nd base off Rodriguez/Castro)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|DP - Andrus-Kinsler-Young|
|Robbie Ross (W,5-0)||2.1||1||0||0||0||1||0||2.25|
|Koji Uehara (H,3)||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||1.26|
|Joe Nathan (S,9)||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||2.55|
|HBP - Johnson (by Neftali Feliz)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Neftali Feliz 101-50, Robbie Ross 28-19, Koji Uehara 13-8, Joe Nathan 21-13|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Neftali Feliz 3-5, Robbie Ross 4-1, Koji Uehara 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Neftali Feliz 23, Robbie Ross 7, Koji Uehara 3, Joe Nathan 3|
|Jordan Schafer, CF||4||0||1||0||0||2||4||.255|
|Jose Altuve, 2B||2||1||0||0||2||0||0||.315|
|J.D. Martinez, LF||4||0||0||0||0||3||2||.218|
|Carlos Lee, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||0||3||.295|
|Jed Lowrie, SS||3||0||1||1||1||1||0||.275|
|Brian Bogusevic, RF||4||0||1||0||0||1||3||.235|
|Chris Johnson, 3B||3||0||1||0||0||0||0||.288|
|Jason Castro, C||3||0||0||0||1||0||1||.217|
|Wandy Rodriguez, P||1||0||0||0||1||1||3||.000|
|a- Justin Maxwell, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.224|
|Fernando Rodriguez, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Fernando Abad, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Rhiner Cruz, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Travis Buck, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.246|
|a-grounded out for Rodriguez in the 6th|
|b-struck out for Cruz in the 9th|
|RBI - Jed Lowrie (16)|
|2-OUT RBI - Jed Lowrie (4)|
|SB - Jordan Schafer (13, 3rd base off Feliz/Napoli), Jose Altuve (9, 2nd base off Feliz/Napoli)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|Outfield Assists - Jordan Schafer 1|
|DP - Lowrie-Altuve-Lee|
|Wandy Rodriguez (L,3-4)||6||10||3||3||2||4||0||2.24|
|IBB - Gentry by Wandy Rodriguez|
|HBP - Andrus (by Rhiner Cruz)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Wandy Rodriguez 95-65, Fernando Rodriguez 31-22, Fernando Abad 4-2, Rhiner Cruz 16-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wandy Rodriguez 8-4, Fernando Rodriguez 1-1, Fernando Abad 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Wandy Rodriguez 28, Fernando Rodriguez 7, Fernando Abad 1, Rhiner Cruz 3|
|Attendance - 34715|
|Game Time - 3:07|
|Temperature - 73|
|Umpires - Home - Marvin Hudson, First Base - Tim McClelland, Second Base - Brian Runge, Third Base - Ted Barrett|