OAKLAND, Calif. -- Lost in the celebration of clinching the AL West title was the fact that Neftali Feliz added his name to the record book.
The 22-year-old earned his 38th save of the season, the most saves by a rookie in major league history. Feliz came in with two outs in the eighth in a one-run game and got Kevin Kouzmanoff out with a 98 mph fastball on the outside corner. Feliz then struck out Chris Carter to start the ninth. A fly ball that should have been caught in right-center went off Julio Borbon's glove (there was a miscommunication between Borbon and right fielder Jeff Franceour). But Feliz retired Jack Cust and Cliff Pennington to end the game.
"I feel so proud and to be part of a winning team is special," Feliz said through a translater. "I feel blessed and thank God for giving me the opportunity. It was a big win today."
Feliz said he was emotional after Nelson Cruz caught the final ball and was thankful to be on the mound. Feliz has the sixth-most saves in a season for the Rangers, passing Francisco Cordero's 2005 total. He has not allowed a run in his past 13 appearances (13 1/3 innings).