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April 01, 2012

Healthy Neftali Feliz ready to go after Rangers' 7-4 win

Neftali Feliz emerged without any issues with his right shoulder Saturday night after throwing 84 pitches in five innings and picking up the win in the Rangers' 7-4 victory over Cleveland at Goodyear Stadium.

Feliz (1-1) allowed three runs on five hits and three walks, with four strikeouts. Michael Brantley and Jason Kipnis hit solo homers off Feliz, who hadn't made a Cactus League appearance since March 20 because of shoulder tightness. He threw four innings Tuesday in a minor-league game.

"Everything is fine," Feliz said. "I'm ready. If I'm healthy, I'll be ready to pitch."

The Rangers could organize a simulated game Thursday for Feliz ahead of his scheduled April 10 season debut. He could also just throw two long bullpen sessions to continue building arm strength.

Brantley was the first hitter Feliz faced, and he launched a deep drive to right field. Feliz struggled with his control in the second inning. The frame included all three of his walks, including one with the bases loaded for an Indians run, as he fought a mechanical issue with his left shoulder.

"The bottom line is he got minimal damage out of it, and the next three innings I thought he did extremely well," manager Ron Washington said.

Ian Kinsler had a solo homer and Mitch Moreland collected a two-run shot to power the Rangers' offense. Mike Napoli and David Murphy added two doubles apiece, with Murphy collecting two RBIs.

-- Jeff Wilson

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