American League Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, May 23rd (All times Eastern)
Texas Rangers (27-17) at Seattle Mariners (20-25), 3:40 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Texas - Scott Feldman (0-1, 3.00) Seattle - Kevin Millwood (2-4, 4.17)
(Sports Network) - The Rangers showed on Tuesday that they don't need to hit home runs to beat you. They just need an opportunity. Texas now wraps its three-game series with the Seattle Mariners today looking to win consecutive games for the first time in almost two weeks.
The Rangers were held to just four hits in last night's encounter with the Mariners, but two of those came during a three-run third inning that proved to be enough in a 3-1 victory thanks to starter Matt Harrison and the bullpen.
Nelson Cruz and Mitch Moreland drew walks in the pivotal third before Elvis Andrus slapped a two-run triple with two outs to put Texas in front. Josh Hamilton followed with an RBI double and Harrison threw seven-plus innings of one-run ball.
Reliever Mike Adams finished off the eighth inning but recording three straight outs with two runners on and Joe Nathan fired a perfect ninth for his 10th save.
"We got four hits and we made them all count," said Rangers manager Ron Washington. "Sometimes you gotta win ballgames like that."
Texas, which has alternated wins and losses in its last eight games, failed to homer for the first time in 16 games but can still win two straight for the first time since May 10-11.
Hector Noesi went eight innings in the loss, surrendering three runs on three hits and two walks while striking out a career-high seven, but was undone by the tough third inning.
"He hung a breaking ball to Andrus and that was it," said Seattle manager Eric Wedge about Noesi's outing. "Other than that he was outstanding today. He did a great job against that lineup and gave us every opportunity to win the ballgame."
Justin Smoak knocked in the lone Seattle run as the Mariners failed to earn a season-high fifth straight victory.
The Mariners turn to Kevin Millwood today in the hopes that the veteran can win a third straight start.
Millwood was on the losing end of four consecutive outings before beating the Yankees on May 13 with seven innings of one-run ball. He was even better on Friday in Colorado, hurling a two-hit shutout while walking one and striking out seven, improving to 2-4 with a 4.17 earned run average in eight starts this season.
"I felt like my stuff was good in the first couple innings of the game," said Millwood. "My location was pretty good and I felt like if I could keep my location where it was I had a chance to at least give us a chance."
The 37-year-old righty will face the Rangers for the first time since his Seattle debut on April 11 and he gave up a run in six innings of a no-decision on that day. Millwood is 0-2 with a 4.15 ERA in four career starts in this series.
With Naftali Feliz on the disabled list because of a sprained ligament in his right elbow, Scott Feldman has the potential to go from spot starter to full- time member of the rotation today for the Rangers.
Feldman gets the first chance at replacing Feliz, who is expected to be out until at least the All-Star break, with his third start of the season and eighth appearance. He hasn't pitched since making a start on May 14 versus the Royals and he gave up a pair of unearned runs on three hits and one walk over 4 2/3 frames of a 3-1 loss.
The right-hander fell to 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA on the season.
"My command wasn't there tonight. I'm trying to get outs any way I can at this point," said Feldman. "If groundballs happen they happen, but I'm just more concerned about trying to get guys out."
Feldman, 29, faced the Mariners in relief earlier this year and is 5-3 with a 3.25 ERA against them lifetime in 22 games, including nine starts.
The Rangers won three of four at home versus the Mariners from April 9-12 and are 20-6 in the past 26 encounters. They won seven of 10 in Seattle last year.
05/23 10:53:01 ET