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TEX@TB: Moreland retires Ruggiano with heads-up throw

ST. PETERSBURG -- Rangers pitcher Scott Feldman could not duplicate the results from last Tuesday, when he earned his first win as a starter in more than a year. Facing the Rays for the second consecutive time, Feldman allowed four runs on Monday in the Rangers' 5-1 loss at Tropicana Field.

"They did a good job of getting my pitch count and made the hits when they needed to," said Feldman, who tossed 97 pitches over five innings. "I threw a lot of sinkers and cutters and changeups [like the last start], but the difference was I didn't make that good quality strike early in the count. I was just a little bit out of the zone. There were a few guys I got into some deep counts and it gets the pitch count up there. I have to do a better job of putting the ball over the plate."

The sparsely used long reliever, who was used as a starter last week so Matt Harrison could get some extra rest, replaced Alexi Ogando on Monday so the right-hander could have a break after going 2-3 with a 6.75 ERA in his last seven appearances. Rangers manager Ron Washington had hoped Feldman could last into the seventh or eighth inning to give the bullpen some much-needed rest as well.

Feldman, though, was his own enemy, issuing four walks Monday after giving up just one in six innings last Tuesday.

"I just think he wasn't able to put it where he wanted to as consistent," Washington said. "I thought he threw enough of [the sinker], but you just have to give their hitters credit. They did what they had to do."

Feldman surrendered a solo home run to Evan Longoria in the first inning on a 0-1 sinker that the Rays third baseman lined into the left-field pole.

"Against Longoria, we talked about before the game how to pitch him," Feldman said. "He did a good job of staying with it and hitting it."

The 28-year-old Feldman allowed one hit over the next seven batters he faced, but he ran into trouble in the fourth on his own accord. He walked three of the first four batters in the frame before Casey Kotchman smacked a one-out line drive single to center that plated two runs.

The fourth run he gave up came at the end of the frame, when the Rangers failed to turn a double play quick enough as Sean Rodriguez hustled in from third. The play started with a ground ball by John Jaso to Mitch Moreland, who stepped on first to record the first out and threw over to Elvis Andrus at short to get Kotchman at second.

"I just think I had a situation to get out of and I kind of tried to be a little too fine," Feldman said. "I was going for the strikeout, and I should have kept with my original game plan and let them get themselves out, but I can't say it's one pitch in particular. They just did a good job of getting my pitch count up there."

Washington replaced Feldman with Mark Hamburger to start the sixth after Feldman faced five batters in the fifth.

"He gave us what he had," Washington said. "He was just missing [the strike zone]."

Feldman may have scuffled, but Rays starter James Shields was perhaps the bigger problem for the Rangers.

The Rangers could not muster much off Shields, who tossed his 11th complete game of the season. Shields allowed four hits and had six strikeouts, and became the first pitcher to record 11 complete games since the D-backs' Randy Johnson did it in 1999, and the first American League pitcher since the Orioles' Scott Erickson in '98.

"The way he can change speeds, move the ball around," Washington said. "He's got an excellent changeup, a good breaking ball and he finishes whatever he starts. He's doing something well. We just haven't been able to figure him out."

After the Rays added a run in the seventh off Rangers reliever Markin Valdez on a solo homer by B.J. Upton, the Rangers managed to score a run off Shields mostly on indifference.

After Elvis Andrus drew a walk, he advanced to second with no one holding him on at first. He moved over to third on a groundout by Josh Hamilton and then scored on a groundout to short by Michael Young before Adrian Beltre flied out to right to end the game.

"He's got a good changeup, period," said Hamilton, who went 0-for-3 and has just two hits in 16 at-bats against Shields. "When you've got a good changeup, 90 [mph] looks like 96 -- it looks so good to hit, but it drops off the table. He keeps it out of the strike zone, makes it look like it's going to be in the strike zone, starts in the strike zone. I think he gave me one all day, waist high, and I fouled it off. It's tough. You just have to make adjustments."

After Feldman's start, Washington was still undecided on if and when Ogando would make his next turn in the rotation.

"We'll just have to wait and see how things go," Washington said.

Ogando, who is 12-7 with a 3.68 ERA in 26 starts in his first full season as a starter, had one strikeout and gave up one hit in the ninth inning on Monday.

"We needed to get him an inning," Washington said. "Just like we did with Harrison, we feel like he needs to get his rest." Comments