(Sports Network) - Neftali Feliz makes his first major league start this
evening when the Texas Rangers continue a four-game set with the Seattle
Mariners at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
After two successful seasons as the Rangers' closer, Feliz was added to the
rotation this offseason following the free agent departure of left-hander C.J.
Wilson. Feliz had saved 72 games over the past two years and his 2.55 ERA in
team history among pitchers with at least 150 career innings.
"I'm fulfilling my dream of being a starter in the major leagues, and I'm
happy that this day is finally coming," Feliz said.
In 2008, Feliz split the season between Single-A and Double-A, starting 27
games and throwing 127 1/3 innings while maintaining a 2.69 ERA. He gave up
just 89 hits while striking out 153. He also kept the ball in the park and
limited his free passes, giving up just three homers and walking 51.
A sore shoulder limited him this spring, as he was only able to toss 13
innings. Feliz, though, has never given up a run in 17 appearances against the
Mariners spanning 16 innings.
Hopefully Feliz gets off to a better start than Yu Darvish did in his debut on
Monday. But after giving up five runs in the first two innings, Darvish
settled down and pitched into the sixth inning, as the Rangers' bats exploded
in an 11-5 triumph.
After a fee of $51.7 million to Japan's Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters and a
six-year, $60 million contract in the offseason, Darvish (1-0) was torched for
four runs in the first inning, as the Mariners batted around, but ended his
first start giving up five runs on eight hits with four walks and five
strikeouts over 5 2/3 frames.
Ian Kinsler, who has reportedly agreed to a five-year extension to stay in
Texas, and Nelson Cruz each hit a three-run home run while Mitch Moreland
added a two-run home run and two runs scored for the Rangers, who took two of
three from the White Sox to start the season.
Kyle Seager went 3-for-5 with three RBI and a run scored while Ichiro Suzuki
added three hits and two runs scored for the Mariners, who took a pair of
games from Oakland on Friday and Saturday. Hector Noesi (0-1) was banged up
for seven runs on six hits with three walks over just three-plus innings of
"You can't give anybody outs at this level, especially these guys," Mariners
shortstop Brendan Ryan said about the Rangers. "Every single guy can hit the
ball out of the yard and they don't seem to foul those pitches off. They hit
Heading to the hill this evening for the Mariners will be right-hander Blake
Beavan, who was a first round draft pick of the Rangers and grew up just 10
minutes from their ballpark.
"I can't wait to actually pitch in Arlington for the first time," Beavan said.
"I'll just try to keep the ball to left. Left field plays pretty good. Right
field is a different story. Left-center, you've got to stroke it, but right
field is like Arizona -- the ball flies. Even if a guy mis-hits it but gets
the barrel on it, it's got a chance of going."
Beavan, acquired from the Rangers in the Cliff Lee deal, got his first taste
of major league action in 2011, posting a 5-6 mark to go along with a 4.27 ERA
in 15 starts. He also set a rookie record last season by throwing six straight
He went 1-1 with a 3.48 ERA this spring to earn a rotation spot.
Texas was an incredible 15-4 last season versus the Mariners.
The Sports Network