Rangers-Orioles Preview


It's hard to imagine where the Baltimore Orioles would be without Chris Davis.

Manager Buck Showalter's team will be counting on another former Texas Ranger the rest of the way, too.

Scott Feldman gets the ball as the Orioles open a four-game set Monday night against the visiting Rangers, who try to avenge a loss in last year's wild-card game.

Acquired from Texas (51-37) in July 2011, Davis leads the majors with 33 homers and ranks second with 85 RBIs - matching his totals from all of last season. The Orioles (49-40) are also expecting to get a boost from Feldman (0-0, 3.00 ERA), who was acquired from the Chicago Cubs in a four-player deal last week.

In his first start since the trade, Feldman allowed two runs in six innings but didn't receive a decision in Wednesday's 4-2 road win over the White Sox.

"That's Scott," Showalter told MLB's official website. "You could see in his eyes that he got a little confident as the game went on. He's got a lot of things - catcher catching a guy for the first time, he's got a pair of pants he's never had on. It didn't look like they fit too well. Had a brand new pair of shoes that probably hurt his feet a little bit. I thought he handled all the adjustments in his life well, but Scotty's been down this road before."

After spending the first eight years of his career with the Rangers, Feldman became a free agent in October after his team option was declined. He threw seven scoreless innings against his former team May 6, leading the Cubs to a 9-2 win.

"I tried to just relax out there and everything, but obviously I know a lot of those guys and I've got a lot of respect for them," he said afterward. "I had a great seven or eight years over there and made some good friends."

The Rangers have taken 10 of 12 regular season matchups from Baltimore. Texas, though, couldn't keep up when it mattered most, falling 5-1 in last year's wild-card game.

The Orioles had dropped three in a row before pulling out a thrilling 2-1 win at Yankee Stadium on Sunday. Adam Jones provided all the offense with a two-run homer off Mariano Rivera in the ninth inning.

"It's off the greatest closer in the history of the game. I'll always remember it," said Jones, one of four Orioles named to next week's All-Star game. "You've got to win, and we haven't been playing that well. We need to tighten up. We need to clean it up around here."

Winners in 12 of 17, the Rangers beat Houston 5-4 on Sunday. A.J. Pierzynski hit a three-run homer and Adrian Beltre, batting .417 during a nine-game hitting streak, went deep for the fourth time in as many days.

Having made his way back from elbow reconstruction surgery, Joakim Soria threw a perfect inning of relief in his first big league appearance in nearly two years.

The Rangers now turn to Derek Holland (6-4, 3.13), who struck out a season high-tying 10 over six innings of two-run ball Wednesday in a 4-2, 10-inning loss to Seattle.

The left-hander has won each of his last three outings versus Baltimore while compiling a 1.42 ERA. Jones is 1 for 10 with six strikeouts in their matchups while Matt Wieters and J.J. Hardy are a combined 0 for 15.

Holland is 3-0 with a 2.40 ERA over a six-start stretch on the road.