Bullpen gem shifts Scott Feldman's roller coaster

SEATTLE -- It's no secret that Scott Feldman prefers to pitch out of the Rangers' starting rotation. Barring an injury, he probably won't get another chance to start this season. But that doesn't mean he won't stop trying out of the bullpen.

Feldman came on to relieve rookie Martin Perez -- the left-hander who replaced Feldman in the rotation -- in the fifth inning of Friday's 6-3 loss to Seattle. The veteran added to his roller-coaster season with three brilliant innings against the Mariners. He struck out five and gave up just one hit, all the while giving the Rangers a chance for a comeback win.

"All you can ask out of your pitchers is to keep you around, and we were around," manager Ron Washington said after the loss. "We didn't get the win, but they kept us in the ballgame."

Feldman certainly did what was needed. He said his mindset doesn't change all that much when coming out of the bullpen: "You still have to get guys out either way."

The 29-year-old right-hander began the season as a reliever before moving into a starting role in mid-May. He proceeded to lose his first six starts, bounced back to win his next six decision and then lost five straight. He did not earn a decision in his final two starts.

His most recent start was a disaster. Feldman lasted just 2 2/3 innings, giving up six runs Sept. 15 against the Mariners. Washington decided to swap him with Perez, who made his fourth start Friday.

"Skip knows I want to be in the rotation," Feldman said. "But at this point in the season, I really think everybody in this room wants to win. So if they think it's better that I'm in the bullpen, what can I do about it except go in and try to get guys out?"