ARLINGTON, Texas — Scott Feldman is feeling right at home on top of the Texas Rangers’ rotation.
Feldman pitched seven solid innings and Michael Young homered, helping the Rangers beat the Seattle Mariners 9-2 on Sunday.
Vladimir Guerrero finished with three hits for Texas, boosting his average to .500, and Joaquin Arias had his second straight three-hit game. Elvis Andrus keyed a four-run second with an RBI triple as the Rangers took two of three from the Mariners to split a six-game homestand.
Feldman (1-0) allowed two runs and seven hits in his second start of the season. He has pitched seven innings in each of his outings.
The Rangers traded last year’s No. 1 starter, Kevin Millwood, to Baltimore in the offseason. Feldman, a 17-game winner in 2009, earned the opening-day start with a fine showing this spring.
“I hope when I take the ball that my teammates are confident in me,” said Feldman, who threw 117 pitches. “For the most part I try to work quick and get ‘em back in the dugout so they can do some hitting.”
Ron Washington thought about replacing Feldman after six innings, but the right-hander walked away as the manager approached him in the dugout, and Washington let him have one more inning.
“He used all his pitches,” Washington said. “They tried to work him. He bent, but he didn’t break. He’s establishing himself.”
Chone Figgins and Franklin Gutierrez had two hits apiece for the Mariners, who wrapped up a 2-5 trip and will face in Oakland in their home opener on Monday.
“I think getting back home will be good,” Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said. “Some of these guys haven’t seen our ballpark yet, that’s how early it is.”
Young connected in the first and the Rangers went ahead 5-1 in the second against Ian Snell. Guerrero and Chris Davis had RBI singles and Nelson Cruz drove in David Murphy with a sacrifice fly.
Snell (0-1) lasted only three innings, allowing five runs, four earned, and eight hits.
“It was a terrible start and I wish I could take it back,” Snell said. “It was a little bit of everything. I hold this solely on my shoulders. The ball didn’t feel right coming out. Velocity was down, I don’t know what’s going on.”
Figgins hit an RBI double in the fifth to trim Texas’ lead to 5-2, but Murphy and Young had sacrifice flies in the bottom half.
NOTES: Rangers RHP Frank Francisco has been replaced as the closer — at least in the short-term — by 21-year-old RHP Neftali Feliz, after Francisco took the loss in his first two save opportunities. … LF Milton Bradley, 1 for 21 in his first six games for the Mariners, got the day off. Wakamatsu said sitting Bradley, who has been bothered by a minor quad problem, wasn’t a reaction to his slow start. … Arias singled in six straight at-bats over two games. … Murphy got his first career start in the leadoff spot, replacing CF Julio Borbon, in a 1-for-21 slump. … Murphy reached in his first two plate appearances on catcher’s interference by Adam Moore. According to research by the Elias Sports Bureau, the last time a team had two catcher’s interference calls in a game was Minnesota’s Mark Salas against Seattle on April 23, 1986. … Mariners LHP Cliff Lee threw 45 pitches in the bullpen in another step toward his recovery from a strained abdominal muscle. The Mariners expect Lee to join the rotation in early May. … Seattle LHP Erik Bedard threw 45 pitches off the mound in his rehab from left shoulder surgery. Wakamatsu said Bedard “is a couple weeks behind Lee in trying to activate him.”