Rockies 6, Rangers 1

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 14, 2012
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.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Sanu: Halftime show played role in Super Bowl collapse

Report: Rams, Clippers discussing NBA venue in Inglewood

Terrence Jones reportedly interested in joining Celtics

LeBron reverses course, says he ‘always felt good’ about Cavs

Report: Ole Miss tried to implicate Mississippi State in football scandal

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jamaal Charles could be on the roster bubble

Jimmy Butler on state of Bulls: ‘I just want to win at all costs’

Report: Giants will be ‘aggressive’ in trying to sign Jason Pierre-Paul

Report: Porzingis avoided ligament damage in ankle

Brooks Koepka meltdown includes whiff, stomping head off driver

Report: 49ers could talk trade for QB at the NFL Scouting Combine

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher who has recorded 10 or more shutouts in a single season

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker