Scott Feldman has never thrown a complete-game in his career. He was in position to accomplish that feat on Sunday night, throwing eight scoreless innings and 88 pitches.
But the Texas Rangers weren't going to go there unless the offense extended a 2-0 lead in the eighth. They didn't, and Feldman never went back out for the ninth. Instead, closer Joe Nathan came in and completed his 21st save, as the Rangers avoided a series sweep with a 2-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox.
"I was trying [for the ninth], but I understand what's going on around here," Feldman said. "We don't want to take any chances. We've got one of the best closers, if not the best closer, in the game. Just trying to win games here, so nothing to get too mad about."
Nathan had a similar mindset, although he would have been happy to watch Feldman go for the complete-game shutout.
"As relievers, we want to see our starters go CGs all the time," Nathan said. "At the same time, I was ready. It was said that if we didn't score, I had it. If we scored a couple, Feldy was going to go back out. So I was hoping for a rally there, especially with a couple men in scoring position, but it wasn't in the cards today."
Here are a few postgame notes:
* It was the eighth shutout thrown by the Rangers' pitching staff this season. It also snapped a five-game losing streak to the Chicago White Sox, who won the first two games of the series and swept a three-game series July 3-5 in Chicago.
* The eight scoreless innings matched a career-high for Scott Feldman. He threw eight scoreless innings against the Royals on July 24, 2009.
* The Rangers extended their lead in the American League West with the Athletics and Angels losing. They have a 4 1/2-game lead on the A's, and a five-game lead on the Angels.
* Despite the victory, the Rangers' bats haven't come through in the clutch. They went 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position Sunday, and 1 for 31 in the three-game series.
* Craig Gentry reached base on two hit by pitches, and leads the team with nine this season. ... David Murphy had three hits, and has hit safely in six consecutive starts.
-- Drew Davison