BALTIMORE -- Whether it be the mundane hotel room, the small visitor's clubhouse or the unfriendly fans, a lot of baseball players hate playing away games.
Scott Feldman is different. The Texas Rangers right-hander has a way of making himself right at home on the road, especially when he's on the mound.
Why Scott Feldman Won
• Feldman worked inside, throwing 68 percent strikes on inside pitches as hitters were 1 for 7 against it.
• He held Orioles hitters to 1 for 8 with runners on base.
• He threw his breaking ball for a strike 67 percent of the time as hitters were 1 for 7 against it.
-- ESPN Stats & Information
Feldman matched the club record for road wins in a season Friday night, earning No. 11 with a dominant performance that carried the Rangers past the Baltimore Orioles 5-1.Feldman (15-4) gave up one run and four hits in 6 2/3 innings to improve to 11-1 on the road. The only other Texas pitchers to win as many away games in one season were Rick Helling (1998) and Vicente Padilla (2008). Feldman also matched Bobby Witt's team record of seven straight road victories, set in 1990.So what's the secret?"There is really nothing to it," Feldman insisted. "Just being the benefactor of playing on a good team. I do everything the same. Just being on a good team and them playing well when I toe the rubber."The Rangers made it easy by taking a 4-0 lead in the fourth inning, and Feldman had no difficulty making the advantage stand up."It's just awesome to be on a team like this," he said. "The more run support the better. Always great to see an early lead like that. You just settle in."Nelson Cruz hit his 31st home run for the Rangers, who have won four straight. Texas is in pursuit of the first-place Los Angeles Angels in the AL West and chasing Boston for a wild-card berth."We have to keep winning. Even when they win, we have to win," said Marlon Byrd, who went 2 for 4. "When they lose, we have to win. We can't take any game for granted from now on. It's crunch time, so now we have to get on a streak."The Rangers are 18 games over .500 (76-58) for the first time since Sept. 25, 2004 (86-68). Texas played without slugger Josh Hamilton, who did not make the trip after having a bad reaction to a shot for a pinched nerve in his back.Brian Roberts had the lone RBI for Baltimore in its fourth successive defeat. It was the Orioles' 81st loss of the season, assuring a franchise-record 12th straight non-winning season.Now 6-0 in his last seven starts, Feldman didn't allow a runner to reach second base until the sixth, when he walked two successive batters before Roberts hit a two-out RBI single.Roberts, who usually bats leadoff, was dropped to third in the lineup to fill the void left by the absence of All-Star center fielder Adam Jones (ankle injury). He went 1 for 3 and was hit by a pitch.After a single and an error put runners at the corners with two outs in the seventh, Feldman was replaced by rookie Neftali Feliz, who struck out pinch-hitter Ty Wigginton."Offensively, we didn't have much going at all," Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. "I think we had two real opportunities, and both with two outs."Feliz retired all seven batters he faced for his second save. He has 28 strikeouts and only one walk over his first 12 games in the majors.Texas jumped to a 1-0 lead against rookie Chris Tillman (1-3) in the first when Elvis Andrus singled, took second on a walk and scored on a single by Byrd.The Rangers used an RBI single by Ivan Rodriguez and a two-out, two-run double by Chris Davis to make it 4-0 in the fourth.Cruz homered in the sixth for a 5-0 lead. He has four homers and 10 RBIs in his last six games.Tillman gave up five runs and seven hits in six innings. In his first eight major league starts, all this season, he's yielded 11 home runs in 46 1/3 innings."You could see with some of their guys, when some of the curveballs were coming, they didn't even move, they didn't even make an attempt for it," Trembley said. "They just waited for a fastball."
CF Felix Pie, who took over as Baltimore's leadoff hitter, went hitless but made a leaping grab at the wall to rob Ian Kinsler of an extra-base hit in the seventh. ... Texas needs to win Saturday or Sunday to clinch its fifth straight season series win over Baltimore.