Shortly before the start of Monday night's game against the Boston Red Sox, the Texas Rangers learned that starting pitcher Colby Lewis will miss the rest of the season because of injury, meaning there will be a search for a replacement in rotation.
Soon after, Scott Feldman made a strong case for himself.
Feldman, starting after Roy Oswalt was scratched with back tightness, threw seven strong innings to lead the Rangers to a 9-1 victory over the Red Sox.
"Tremendous outing," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "We certainly needed him to give us a chance tonight and he went way beyond what we expected."
Feldman (4-6) won his fourth straight decision and pitched his longest outing since throwing eight innings on June 2, 2010. He gave up one earned run and seven hits with five strikeouts.
"My mechanics felt pretty good," Feldman said. "I tried not to think about the extended rest I had there. I tried to go out there and compete."
Lewis will miss the rest of the season because of a torn flexor tendon in his right elbow that will require surgery. Martin Perez, who was called up on Monday after Lewis was placed on the disabled list, will start Tuesday's game against the Red Sox, but he would have been available out of the bullpen if Feldman had faltered early.
Besides giving up a solo home run to Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the second inning, Feldman never wavered, retiring 12 of his last 15 batters.
"He kept the ball down and worked off the corners," Boston third baseman Will Middlebrooks said. "He didn't leave anything over the middle that we could hit."
And Feldman was certainly helped by the Rangers offense, which has outscored the Red Sox 33-7 in three games this season. The Red Sox, who have lost four straight and 12 of 18, left eight runners on base.
Ian Kinsler went 3-for-4 and Craig Gentry went 2-for-4 with an RBI for Texas. Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli both had two RBIs in the Rangers' first home game since July 8.
In the third, Texas scored three earned runs against Boston starter Felix Doubront (10-5). Gentry singled and Kinsler walked, then a double steal put the two at second and third. Elvis Andrus run-scoring singled to stretch his hitting streak to 11 games. Dustin Pedroia overthrew first base to let Kinsler score, snapping the second baseman's 65-game errorless streak, the longest of his career. Hamilton drove in a run with a double and Michael Young's one-out single scored Hamilton to make it 4-1.
In the sixth, Napoli hit his third home run in as many games, a two-run shot that traveled 416 feet to left field that made it 6-1. That hit knocked out Doubront, who pitched five innings and gave up six earned runs and eight hits.
Frankin Morales relieved Doubront and gave up three-straight hits to Brandon Snyder (double), Gentry and Kinsler. Gentry's single drove in Snyder, and Gentry scored on an error by Boston left fielder Carl Crawford after Kinsler's single. Hamilton hit a sacrifice fly for a 9-1 lead.
NOTES: Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine considered having struggling LHP Jon Lester skip his scheduled Saturday start against the Yankees, but he said after Monday's game that Lester will start Saturday. Lester (5-8, 5.46) has lost his last three starts, giving up 21 earned runs in 12 1-3 innings. He allowed a career-worst 11 earned runs in four innings of Sunday's 15-7 loss to Toronto. . Monday's game was Valentine's first time managing a regular-season game in Arlington against his former club. From 1985-1992, Valentine managed more games (1,186) and has more wins (581) than any manager in Rangers history. . Rangers 1B Mitch Moreland began an injury-rehab assignment Monday night at Triple-A Round Rock, and is expected to return to the Rangers for Sunday's game against Chicago. He has been on the DL since June 22 because of a stranded left hamstring. Manager Ron Washington said the plan is for Moreland to play Monday and Tuesday for Round Rock, then return to Arlington on Wednesday to be with his wife, Susannah, who is expecting their first child. Moreland would move his rehab assignment to Double-A Frisco Friday and Saturday.