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HOU@TEX: Feldman throws seven shutout frames

ARLINGTON -- Astros manager Bo Porter pressed every button and carefully moved every chess piece he could for more than four hours Friday night to try to find a way for his team to solve the Rangers, stopping short of performing some dugout witchcraft.

Porter, who successfully deployed five infielders after the Rangers had loaded the bases with no outs in the 10th inning, and his team ran out of answers in the 12th inning when the Rangers got a two-out, walk-off hit by Robinson Chirinos to beat the Astros, 1-0, at Globe Life Park.

"That there is a really good baseball game, from both ballclubs," Porter said. "There was a lot of adversity, a lot of break points. To battle the way we battled, I'm extremely proud of those guys. It's unfortunate that one team had to come up on the short end, but both teams are definitely winners."

Rangers ace Yu Darvish and four relievers combined to hold the Astros to two hits -- singles by Matt Dominguez in the sixth and 11th. Darvish had a perfect game through five innings and was nearly matched by Astros starter Scott Feldman, who threw seven scoreless innings of two-hit ball.

Brad Peacock, the Astros' fourth reliever, was in his third inning of work when the Rangers got a one-out single by Kevin Kouzmanoff in the 12th. He moved to second on a wild pitch and scored when Chirinos smacked a hard grounder past diving second baseman Jose Altuve for the winning run.

"They never lost focus," said Rangers manager Ron Washington, whose team was 1-for-15 with runners in scoring position. "So it was just a matter of putting yourself in position. Our bullpen came in and did a good job and kept giving us an opportunity and we finally broke through. We had chances all night."

Feldman gave the Astros everything they could have asked for while pitching against his former team, especially considering he was working only two days following the death of his father. Feldman, pitching with a heavy heart, delivered another terrific effort to lower his ERA to 0.44.

"It was a tough couple of days," he said. "It was pretty sad my father passing away, but I think without a doubt he would have wanted me to go out and pitch. I just tried to keep my emotions under control and hopefully he was watching."

Feldman was sharp through six innings, allowing two hits and three walks and no runs to keep the pressure on Darvish. He stranded runners at second and third after one out in the second, and he struck out Josh Wilson to end the seventh and strand the bases loaded following two hit batters and an intentional walk.

Feldman is the second different Astros pitcher to start the season with three starts of at least 6 2/3 innings and allowing one run or none, joining Roger Clemens in 2004 (three starts) and 2005 (four starts).

"It was an unbelievable performance by Scott dealing with the family issues he's had to deal with," Porter said. "To come out and pitch the way he pitched speaks to the quality pitcher he is, speaks to the professionalism and he left it all out there and gave us a tremendous effort. I'm proud of him."

Darvish retired the first 15 batters he faced before Dominguez led off the sixth with a soft liner over the shortstop, one pitch after Alex Rios couldn't quite catch a pop fly in foul ground in right. It was the third time in Darvish's career against the Astros he retired 15 in a row to start a game. He didn't reach a three-ball count until throwing four consecutive balls after an 0-2 count to Altuve in the seventh.

"He's always going to be a guy that's going to be tough to face, especially tonight he had good command of his pitches," Altuve said. "I think that's why we had a little trouble getting on base. The guy on our side threw a really good game, so they had the same kind of trouble. But it was a pretty interesting game."

The Rangers loaded the bases in the ninth against lefty Kevin Chapman, who began the inning with two strikeouts. Anthony Bass escaped the mess by getting Elvis Andrus to ground out to second. Peacock walked the first three batters he faced in the 10th - one intentionally -- to the Rangers on the verge of winning.

Porter brought Marwin Gonzalez off the bench and played him as a fifth infielder near second base, and it paid off. Andrus grounded into a fielder's choice to first base, Chirinos struck out and Leonys Martin grounded out to second base.

"You have to cut down the run," Porter said. "We have Marwin Gonzalez on the bench, who is a utility guy who can play both infield and outfield. You just feel like at that point if you keep the ball on the infield, you have a chance to cut down the run. They get the ball to the outfield, the odds are the game's going to be over. Our pitchers made really good pitches and kept balls on the infield and we were able to get out of it."

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