Rangers welcome Hamilton back in San Diego
(Sports Network) - Texas manager Ron Washington says he still has confidence in Scott Feldman, but few would blame the starter if he is having doubts in himself.
The right-hander hopes to snap a six-start losing streak tonight, something the expected return of Josh Hamilton could help with, when the Rangers take on the San Diego Padres in the middle contest of a three-game series.
Feldman has been pushed into Texas' rotation due to injury and has been unable to find the win column this year. In 12 overall appearances, including seven starts, he is 0-6 with a 6.50 earned run average, with all six losses coming in his last six outings.
The 29-year-old's latest setback came on Thursday versus the Diamondbacks as he was charged with six runs -- four earned -- on eight hits over five innings. The defeat denied the Rangers a sweep of the series.
"I still have confidence in him," said Washington about Feldman. "I don't lose confidence in any of my guys. We won the series. So they beat us the last game. We won the series, don't forget that."
Feldman, who is 0-3 with a 9.90 ERA in six road appearances on the year, has faced the Padres just once before and that came in relief. He was charged with two runs in that outing while recording just two outs and taking a loss.
Edinson Volquez is also looking to get on a roll in tonight's start as the Padres right-hander snapped a four-decision losing streak that had spanned five starts with a win at Seattle on Thursday.
San Diego had scored just four runs in the first four games of Volquez's winless drought, but backed him with six runs on Thursday. Volquez himself gave up just a run on four hits and four walks with six strikeouts.
"There is nothing you can do, the only thing you can do is go out there and pitch your game, go deep in the game, give your (team) a chance to win," said Volquez. "Tonight was good, feels good, score six runs, unbelievable."
The 28-year-old is 3-6 with a 3.70 ERA in 14 starts this season and will face the Rangers for the first time.
Volquez will likely go up against Hamilton, who is expected to start tonight for the first time since an intestinal virus caused him to be hospitalized on Friday. He was released the following day and rejoined the club on Sunday. He was available to pinch-hit last night, but did not make an appearance until entering as a defensive replacement in left field in the bottom of the ninth.
Hamilton did take batting practice before the game and said he will be in the starting lineup on Tuesday. He leads the majors with 62 RBI and is second in the American League with a .330 average and 22 home runs.
Hamilton's return could provide an offensive jolt to a series that saw just three runs plated in Monday's opener -- all in the first inning. The scoring went the Rangers' way as they picked up their fourth victory in a row with a 2-1 decision.
David Murphy plated Elvis Andrus and Adrian Beltre with a single in the first and Matt Harrison made the lead hold with six strong innings. He scattered a run on six hits and two walks to win his fifth straight decision and ninth game of the year.
"I thought he was pretty good," Washington said of Harrison. "Things could've gotten worse in that first, but he gave up minimal damage and began to settle down."
Chase Headley had three hits and drove in San Diego's only run with a double that followed back-to-back singles by Chris Denorfia and Cameron Maybin. The latter was left stranded on third as Harrison retired the next three batters to get out of the inning.
Jason Marquis took a tough-luck loss despite striking out a season-high 10 batters in his seven innings of work.
"I didn't execute early on like I wanted to," Marquis said of his opening frame. "I put myself in a hole early, put a couple guys on, and Murphy found a hole."
The Padres lost for the third time in four games, while the Rangers' seventh victory in eight contests gave it a five-game edge over the Angels for first place in the AL West.
The Padres have won seven of their past 11 versus the Rangers and are hosting Texas for the first time since taking two of three during the 2001 campaign.