ARLINGTON, Texas — Consecutive victories against Jered Weaver and Dan Haren were within the Texas Rangers’ grasp late Saturday afternoon when they entered the ninth inning tied with the Los Angeles Angels.
Derek Holland had provided the Rangers with good starting pitching for six innings. The offense had put together two runs against Haren, who entered with a 1.87 ERA.
The Rangers needed a good ninth from their best reliever to help in their pursuit of beating back the Weaver-Haren pitching monster.
Neftali Feliz, though, wasn’t available, and the Rangers’ late-game woes continued as the Angels scored a run against Darren Oliver and received a strong ninth from their closer for a 3-2 victory.
The Rangers fell to 3-6 in one-run games this season, 0-4 in tied games entering the ninth, and are 1-11 when they score no more than two runs.
Oliver, at age 40, was pitching on back-to-back days and fell to 1-4. But he was the choice in the ninth because the 23-year-old Feliz, who threw 18 pitches Friday, wasn’t available.
“We had the guy we wanted in there at the time,” manager Ron Washington said before shedding light on Feliz. “He just felt a little cranky, so we stayed away from him. He’ll be available tomorrow.”
Feliz went on the disabled list last month with shoulder inflammation and has pitched three times since being reinstated May 6. He has been a mixed bag, getting quick outs early before struggling to finish the inning.
Washington said that the Rangers aren’t afraid to use Feliz on back-to-back days, and his health is not an issue. He just wasn’t available.