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05/14/10 11:18 PM ET

Feldman, Romero look to bounce back

Texas right-hander Scott Feldman and Toronto lefty Ricky Romero are key cogs in the starting rotations of their clubs, and they'll both need to rebound from tough outings in their most recent starts to get back to where they need to be.

Feldman, who became the team's ace in 2009 on the strength of 17 wins, will be trying to bounce back from a prolonged slump -- the likes of which he hasn't yet encountered in his big league career.

Feldman has gone five starts without a win, and in his last outing, he barely made it through four innings, allowing four runs on six hits and two walks in a game the Rangers eventually won over the Kansas City Royals.

"I'd like to be a little more like I was last year," Feldman said. "I need to get back to basics. I've been missing up. I need to start getting more ground balls."

Feldman, who is 0-3 with a 7.83 ERA in his last five starts since going seven innings in a 9-2 victory over the Mariners on April 11, is still getting full confidence from his manager, Ron Washington.

"We're going to keep giving him the ball until he figures it out," Washington said. "His command is not there. He's not hitting his spots."

Romero, meanwhile, had one of his least effective starts of the season in his last outing, giving up four runs on eight hits and walking a season-high five batters in a game against the Chicago White Sox. Romero also uncorked two wild pitches, bringing his season total to 12 after throwing only six wild pitches in all of 2009.

"His ball is moving so much he's tough to catch," said Jays manager Cito Gaston, who said he will likely pair Romero with catcher Jose Molina on Saturday.

"Ricky's ball is cutting and is sinking and it's going all over the place, and both guys say he's hard to catch. His control is a little bit better, I hope [on Saturday], and those guys can catch the ball."

Rangers: Cruz comes back
Outfielder Nelson Cruz was activated off the 15-day disabled list and inserted into the lineup Friday night, and he immediately made his presence felt, delivering a sacrifice fly in his first plate appearance, which was his 18th RBI of the season. He went on to double in three more runs. ... Feldman is 0-2 with a 5.90 ERA in four starts and three relief appearances against the Blue Jays.

Blue Jays: Station-to-station offense?
The Blue Jays homered five times in Friday's 16-10 win over the Rangers to give them a Major League-leading total of 57 long balls, but according to STATS, Inc., so far this season, they haven't been very fond of putting baserunners at risk. Entering Friday, Toronto had 19 opportunities to go from first to third base on a single and had done so only twice, which is easily the fewest times in both leagues. ... Romero has enjoyed facing Texas in his young career. So far, against the Rangers, the southpaw has a 1.35 ERA over 13 1/3 innings.

Worth noting
Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus didn't take long to extend his Major League-leading current hitting streak to 14 games with a single to center field in his first at-bat Friday night. Andrus finished the game 2-for-4 with two runs and has put up the longest streak by a Ranger since his own 16-game streak from Aug. 28-Sept. 14, 2009. ... Friday marked what could be an important day in the future of the Toronto franchise when 21-year-old Cuban shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria made his professional debut for the Dunedin Blue Jays of the Class A Florida State League. Hechavarria batted second and went 1-for-5 with a single and a strikeout. He also started one double play.

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


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