ARLINGTON, Texas — Jason Hammel, the other pitcher the Oakland Athletics got in the trade with Jeff Samardzija , is still adjusting to his new team. And is still without a victory.
Hammel lost his third consecutive start since coming to the AL West-leading Athletics from the Chicago Cubs on July 5, allowing four runs in 5 2-3 innings in a 4-1 loss to the Texas Rangers on Friday night.
“The easiest thing here is to start getting down on myself, but I’m not going to do that,” Hammel said. “I did a lot of good things tonight, save for a few hard-hit balls. Balls that fell in and a couple walks that pushed guys into scoring position. ... Just got to make quality pitches. Make my misses down.”
Working with a new catcher and seeing new lineups, Hammel (0-3) has a 7.11 ERA in three American League starts. The right-hander struck out three and walked two while giving up seven hits against the Rangers.
“I thought he looked better. He threw a better mix,” manager Bob Melvin said. “After the first couple innings, it looked like the ball, he got the ball down, commanded his fastball better. Had a sharper slider.”
Jerome Williams became the record 31st pitcher for Texas this season and Neftali Feliz was back in a familiar finishing role.
Williams pitched six solid innings in an unlikely start and Feliz got his first save in three seasons.
Feliz, the closer again after Joakim Soria was traded to Detroit earlier this week, got his first regular-season save since 2011. The former All-Star’s last opportunity, before moving to the rotation and then getting hurt and needing Tommy John surgery, was a blown save in Game 6 of the 2011 World Series against St. Louis.
“He got it done. I’m more than certain the more he gets the ball, the easier it will probably come,” manager Ron Washington said. “We’ll just keep giving him the ball and see where it goes.”
Elvis Andrus had a triple among his two hits and scored twice for the Rangers, who had lost their seven previous home games in July and were coming off a 2-5 road trip out of the All-Star break.