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Feliz is one inning from returning

The Sports Xchange
 
Roster Report · Notes, Quotes · Feliz is one inning from returning
 

Neftali Feliz, the Rangers' closer, could be back with the team on Friday.

He can't get there soon enough.

A few hours after Feliz was cleared for a one-day, one-inning rehab stint, the Rangers' beleaguered bullpen blew a late lead against Oakland and fell 5-4 in 10 innings.

After Derek Holland gave the Rangers seven strong innings, Arthur Rhodes gave up a game-tying home run to the first hitter he faced in the eighth. Then Darren Oliver, the Rangers' interim closer, gave up a walk-off homer to Hideki Matsui on the first pitch he threw.

It was the Rangers' fifth loss this season in the opponents' last at-bat. It was the first time Texas lost a game it led after seven innings this season.

Rhodes, 41, and Oliver, 40, are the senior members of the patchwork bullpen and manager Ron Washington's most trusted pitchers. Washington turned to Rhodes in the eighth even though the first hitter was right-handed hitting cleanup man Josh Willingham. He went to Oliver in a tie game because the first hitter was the left-handed No. 5 batter, Matsui. Oliver had allowed Matsui only one hit in 10 previous meetings.

Meanwhile, Feliz will leave on Tuesday to return to Texas. He will pitch one inning for Double-A Frisco on Wednesday. If that goes well, he will be activated from the DL on Friday, the first day he is eligible. Feliz has been dealing with a bit of right rotator cuff inflammation.

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