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04/24/10 2:28 AM ET

Tigers to see Feldman one day later

The Rangers will complete the second half of their Texas two-step on Saturday, engaging the Tigers in a dance they may not have seen coming. Texas was forced to shelve starter Scott Feldman for Friday's game because of a stomach ailment, going to Rich Harden instead. Feldman will take the ball on Saturday, one day later than the team's original plan.

And if you ask the Rangers, they'd say that some recent history influenced that strategy. Southpaw Matt Harrison pitched through a similar ailment last week, forcing manager Ron Washington to consider a different approach. Texas also had C.J. Wilson pushed back due to food poisoning earlier this season, and Washington wanted to be as careful as possible.

"We just didn't want [Feldman's] body to do what it did to Harrison in his last start," Washington said. "Feldman said he feels good and he could take the ball [Friday]. But we decided to give him an extra 24 hours."

Harden wound up struggling through a walk-filled start, but the Rangers were able to take a lead into the ninth inning. Detroit wound up tying the game in the ninth, setting the stage for a Texas comeback in its final at-bat. Elvis Andrus wound up slicing a game-winning single for the Rangers, touching off a jubilant celebration for the home team at first base.

Detroit will be handing the ball to southpaw Brad Thomas, who will be subbing for Dontrelle Willis, a late scratch due to illness. Thomas will be called on to make his sixth career start, the last of which came in 2001, when the southpaw was with the Twins. Entering Saturday, Thomas had a 7.04 ERA in four appearances this year with the Tigers.

Tigers: Ordonez hits well in Arlington
The Tigers may not have pulled out a victory Friday night, but they did continue a prominent trend from the last couple seasons. Since the beginning of the 2007 season, Detroit has batted .297 (186-for-626) with 30 doubles, 27 home runs and 114 RBIs at Rangers Ballpark. That works out to 7.31 runs per game there over their last 17 games, a league-high total.

And if you break it down, few players have had more to do with that statistic than Magglio Ordonez. Detroit's veteran outfielder is a career .388 hitter (62-for-160) in Texas, and he has 19 doubles, four home runs and 32 RBIs in 42 games. Ordonez kept that trend alive Friday night with two hits, one a key two-run single in the ninth inning.

Rangers: Smoak contributes in debut
The Rangers saw top prospect Justin Smoak make his big league debut at first base on Friday night, and they expect him to hold down the position for years to come. Smoak, the 11th overall pick in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, was batting .300 with a .470 on-base percentage in his first 15 games for Triple-A Oklahoma. And right away, he lived up to his billing.

Smoak, who's best known for his plate discipline and power, grounded out in his first big league at-bat. He walked later on against Detroit starter Max Scherzer, and then he came up as the home team's leadoff hitter in the ninth inning. Smoak drew a walk and moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt, and the Rangers pinch-ran for him en route to taking the winning run.

Worth noting
Detroit's Carlos Guillen was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a hamstring injury before Friday's game. ... Outfielder Nelson Cruz sat out Friday's start because of a muscle cramp in his right hamstring. Cruz did manage to draw a key walk as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning. ... Infielder Andres Blanco has started consecutive games, the first time that has happened this season. Joaquin Arias is scheduled to start Saturday. ... The Rangers stole 20-of-21 bases on their nine-game road trip last week, the most in the Majors. ... Detroit's Miguel Cabrera wasn't able to double Friday, breaking a streak of five straight games with a two-bagger. ... Injured Texas infielder Ian Kinsler had 10 at-bats and four innings in the field during an extended spring training game Friday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.