Feliz remains Rangers closer

Feliz remains Rangers closer

ARLINGTON -- Neftali Feliz is still confident, and he is still the team's closer, manager Ron Washington said before Thursday's game and before the Rangers head off for their first American League West road trip against Seattle and Oakland.

Washington said nothing has changed with the club's situation at closer even though Feliz struggled again in Wednesday's 6-5 victory over the White Sox, allowing two runs.

Also, Frank Francisco was warming up in the bullpen with the tying run on first. Washington said Francisco would have come into the game had Feliz not retired White Sox leadoff hitter Juan Pierre.

Feliz blew his first save in last Friday's win over Detroit; then, pitching in back-to-back games for the first time, he gave up home runs to Miguel Cabrera and Brandon Inge in a tie game in the ninth inning Monday against Detroit. Then came Wednesday's harrowing save, his third of the season.

"Things haven't been good for me but things are good," Feliz said. "Nothing is wrong with me. Sometimes it's my pitch location. Sometimes I miss my pitch location."

Feliz was asked if there's reason to be concerned with his fastball dropping under 100 mph to 95 to 97 in his recent outings. He compared himself to Detroit's hard-throwing reliever Joel Zumaya, whose velocity dropped in that same Monday game.

"It's not going to be 100 mph every day," Feliz said. "Zumaya wasn't doing it either. I try to do as much as I can do to help the team win. It's tough to do [throw 100] every day."