Neftali Feliz's consistency has been growing by leaps and bounds. On Thursday he took it even further, by matching his career high in strikeouts in his longest outing of the season.
Feliz struck out 11 over seven innings of three-hit ball as the host Frisco RoughRiders topped the San Antonio Missions, 6-1, to take a 2-0 lead in their best-of-5 Texas League playoff series.
The only hits allowed by the 20-year-old righty were a first-inning single by Drew Macias, a double in the third by Josh Alley and a single in the fourth by Jose Lobaton.
"He threw strikes tonight," Frisco manager Scott Little said. "He had a good fastball and his offspeed stuff was effective. He did a heck of a job for us."
Feliz (1-0) had a regular-season mark of 4-3 with a 2.98 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 45 1/3 frames over 10 starts for Frisco. His 11 strikeouts against San Antonio matched his career high, set June 14 while pitching for Class A Clinton of the Midwest League against Wisconsin.
"He's been very consistent," Little added. "We've had to throttle him back a little sometimes, but we've been waiting for a point like this to stretch him out a little. He rose to the challenge."
He was 6-3 with a 2.52 ERA and 106 strikeouts in 82 innings for Clinton before being promoted to Double-A Frisco on July 7.
Trey Hodges gave up one run on one hit, fanning one without a walk in one inning, and Andrew Laughter yielded a hit and struck out one in the final frame to close out the victory.
John Whittleman doubled home two and Thomas Berkery hit an RBI double in a three-run second that snapped a scoreless tie for the RoughRiders. Steven Murphy smacked a two-RBI single and Whittleman added an RBI base hit in a three-run eighth to close out the scoring.
Frisco took Wednesday's series opener, 5-1.
Stephen Faris (0-1) surrendered three runs on five hits, fanning six and walking two over five innings to take the loss for the Missions. Box score
In other Texas League action:
Arkansas Travelers 4, Northwest Arkansas Naturals 1
Chris Pettit's RBI single in the eighth snapped a tie game and sparked the Travelers to a win over the Naturals in their playoff opener. Box score