Feliz's 101 Mph Fastball Too Much for Rockies

Six days left until Opening Day

Neftali Feliz reared back and fired and the stadium scoreboard didn't have enough digets on its radar reading to tell the full story.

It read 01.

Feliz threw a perfect ninth inning, striking out Chris Nelson on his second 101 mph fastball of the day, and the Texas Rangers edged the Colorado Rockies 7-6 Monday.

"He left it out there," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "We talked to him about pitching, that sometimes you go out there and try to please everybody. We told him to leave it out there because he can get you three outs in a hurry."

Feliz's fastball earned him a quick path to the majors and he didn't disappoint, posting a 1.74 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 31 innings. His preference to start led the Rangers to evaluate him in longer stints though he eventually ended up back in the bullpen.

"I'm going to go out there whatever they give me and give 100 percent effort," Feliz said through teammate Julio Borbon. "Heading out there in the last inning, with the game on the line, I locked in and was focusing on the hitters. Thank God I'm 100 percent healthy and ready to go."

Rangers starter Matt Harrison threw seven innings in his longest spring outing, allowing six runs -- five earned -- on six hits with three walks and five strikeouts.

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"I'd rather have the seven but not the six runs," Harrison said. "It was good to get seven innings in. I haven't done that in a long time."

Harrison allowed four runs in the second and third, two coming on Ian Stewart's first home run of the spring, as Colorado opened a 4-1 lead.

The Rangers rallied for three runs on five hits in the fifth off Rockies starter Jason Hammel, including Nelson Cruz's fifth home run, a two-run shot onto the grass batters eye behind the center field fence.

Hammel allowed five runs on eight hits and two walks over five innings with four strikeouts.

"Obviously the line wasn't great but my arm felt good," said Hammel, who threw more than a dozen sliders for the first time this spring. "I'm ready to start making them count."

NOTES: Rangers reliever Darren Oliver escaped a bases-loaded jam in the eighth courtesy of an around-the-horn double play capped by Chris Davis' full stretch at first. The Rockies scored a run in the third on a rare 6-4-5-6 double play. Ryan Spilborghs hit a grounder to short and Melvin Mora was forced at second. Andres Blanco then threw back to third baseman Michael Young, catching Carlos Gonzalez in a rundown as Jonathan Herrera came home. "That's heads up baseball," Washington said of Blanco's decision.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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