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Pregame notes: Williams earns next start

7/26/2014

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Jerome Williams pitched so well Friday night for the Texas Rangers that manager Ron Washington said the veteran right-hander deserves another start.

When that occurs is uncertain, but if anything else, Williams' performance gave the Rangers confidence they can use him again.

Friday night, Williams gave up just one run on five hits in six innings with four strikeouts in a 4-1 victory over the Oakland Athletics. Williams threw 88 pitches, and Washington noted he challenged the A's hitters by throwing strikes.

"He's still here," Washington said of the 32-year-old. "We just have to wait and see. I see him throw against us and all he has to do is go out there and do it again against Oakland and he did it. He did it. He deserves another start, until that time comes, we'll have to wait and see, he's still here."

Feliz could pitch again: When Neftali Feliz took over the closer's role after Joakim Soria was traded to Detroit, it raised questions about how effective he would be. Feliz earned his first save since Game 5 of the 2011 World Series on Friday night. Washington said he wasn't sure if Feliz could pitch on consecutive days and, despite being healthy, it would depend on his workload.

Feliz said he's 100 percent healthy after undergoing Tommy John surgery last year. Felix threw 26 pitches in his outing Friday which included working out of a ninth-inning jam.

"His competitive juices were flowing," Washington said. "I could see him out there wanting it bad and I could see him out there competing. There will be times when Neftali goes out there where he makes it easy because he executes pitches because that's what it's going to take."

Arencibia improving: Rangers first baseman J.P. Arencibia had a RBI in three of his previous four games and has hit the Rangers' past three home runs heading into Saturday night's game. In his return to the club from Triple-A Round Rock on July 17, he's hitting just .179, but of late he's maintaining his spot in the lineup with his play.

"Just playing with some confidence," he said. "Not worried about fielding and messing up. Just try to get good swings out there and let it fly."

"To me, he's a threat at the plate," Washington said.