Neftali Feliz was placed on the 15-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation Monday, ending that unprecedented run. That means Scott Feldman will make his second spot start of the month Wednesday, replacing Feliz in the Rangers' rotation to face Kevin Millwood and the Mariners in the rubber game of a three-game series at Safeco Field.
The latest in a season the Rangers had made their first roster move before this year was in 1976, when John Ellis was put on the DL with a fractured ankle on May 10.
"It's never good to see any of your teammates go down," Feldman said. "I hope Neftali is all right and gets back soon. Injuries are a part of baseball. I'm going to do the best I can."
Feldman is making his third start of the year. He filled in for Derek Holland on May 14 against the Royals in his last start, allowing three hits and two runs, both in the fifth inning and both unearned, over 4 2/3 innings in a 3-1 loss. Feldman hopes to throw 100 pitches against the Mariners, something he has not done since June 29, 2010.
"Let's see how he gets through it," manager Ron Washington said. "It depends on the stress he has. If he's able to get through some innings early without stress, that may lead to some leeway late in the game."
After starting the season 0-4, Millwood has won his last two starts. Millwood, who posted a 5.88 ERA over his first six starts this year, tossed a two-hit shutout in his last start, a 4-0 win over the Rockies.
That shutout marked the sixth of his career and first since Aug. 1, 2003. The only other pitchers to throw shutouts this year and go at least eight years between shutouts are Barry Zito and Jerome Williams. Millwood is 2-0 with a 0.56 ERA in his last two starts.
"I just felt like I located my fastball well, felt like I had a good breaking ball and was able to mix them up," said Millwood, who pitched for the Rangers from 2006-09. "I don't feel any added pressure, I feel like I've prepared well and now it's just a matter of going out and just executing."
Rangers: Road warriors
With a 3-1 win Tuesday night, the Rangers matched the best 24-game road record in team history at 16-8, a feat that was also accomplished in 1992. Entering Tuesday, the Rangers led the Major Leagues in road batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, runs, hits, and were tied with the Orioles with 31 home runs. At 27-17, the Rangers also boast the second-best 44-game record in team history, a mark that was also reached in 1995 and 1996 and bested by a 1998 squad that started 28-18. The Rangers are 11-9 at home and have lost three of their last four games at the Ballpark in Arlington.
Yoshinori Tateyama made his season debut for the Rangers on Monday, allowing one hit and one run in two innings of a 6-1 loss to the Mariners. Tateyama was called up from Triple-A Round Rock and replaced Feliz on the 25-man roster. He made 39 appearances last year, going 2-0 with a 4.50 ERA in his first season in the Major Leagues. Before being called up, Tateyama was 1-0 with a 0.54 ERA in 12 appearances for the Express this year.
Mariners: Ichiro is Rangers' No. 1 nemesis
With two hits in four at-bats Tuesday, Ichiro Suzuki broke the record for most hits by an opposing hitter against the Rangers since the team moved to Texas in 1972. Ichiro, a career .317 hitter against the Rangers (292-for-920), passed George Brett, who had 290 hits against the Rangers during his 21-year career. Behind Brett are Paul Molitor (254 hits), Cal Ripken Jr. (248) and Garret Anderson (248).
Millwood, 37, became the fourth-oldest pitcher in Mariners history to throw a shutout Friday against the Rockies. Current Rockies pitcher Jamie Moyer tossed three shutouts for the Mariners after his 37th birthday, including one against the Royals on June 2, 2006, when he was 43 years old. Friday's 4-0 win also marked Millwood's 22nd career complete game and first since Aug. 21, 2010, when he was pitching against the Mariners for the Orioles. Millwood also became the ninth opposing pitcher to throw a shutout at Coors Field.
The Rangers did not hit a home run in their 3-1 win over the Mariners on Tuesday. That ended a streak of 15 consecutive games with at least one home run. It was the fourth-longest such streak in team history.
The Mariners lead the Major Leagues in fielding percentage (.990) and road games played (27), a figure that will be tied by the Braves on Wednesday when they take on the Reds in Cincinnati.