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Robbie Ross Jr. pulled after 5 hitless innings, Rangers lose 2-0 to Feldman and Astros

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HOUSTON - Robbie Ross Jr. was on a strict pitch count Saturday night after throwing two days before in the minors.

Despite that, he still pleaded his case to remain in the game and continue his no-hit bid.

Ross was pulled after five innings and 70 pitches, and the Texas Rangers went on to lose 2-0 when Scott Feldman pitched a three-hitter for the Houston Astros.

Ross made 42 pitches over 2 1-3 innings Thursday for Triple-A Round Rock.

"I felt good," he said. "I felt strong. They told me the pitch count got to me. I told them I would love to go back out there."

The left-hander was recalled Saturday to make a spot start in place of Miles Mikolas, skipped due to shoulder fatigue.

"I knew it was going to be a mental thing," Ross said. "I knew immediately my body was going to tell me I couldn't go any longer, and the lack of sleep I had and things like that would creep in my mind, and I had to overcome that."

Ross struck out five and walked three.

"He was outstanding," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "But it was about Robbie Ross, protecting him."

Jose Altuve got Houston's first hit, a one-out double in the sixth off reliever Phil Klein.

Held hitless for the first five innings by Ross, the Astros scored twice in the seventh against Klein (0-2).

Carlos Corporan doubled to put runners at second and third, and Jake Marisnick had an RBI infield single. Corporan scored on Klein's throwing error to first.

"It was about who was going to make the first mistake, and we did and they capitalized," Washington said.

Feldman (8-10) struck out five and walked one in his second major league shutout. It was his fourth career complete game and second this month. He also had one Aug. 3 against Toronto, yielding one run and eight hits in that game.

"Scott Feldman in my opinion was at his very best," Washington said. "Slider, sinker, moving his fastball around. He made pitches when he had to."

The three hits allowed matched a career best for Feldman, who also threw a three-hitter against San Diego on May 1, 2013. His other shutout was Sept. 6, 2013, against the Chicago White Sox.

Feldman retired his first 13 batters before Ryan Rua's one-out single in the fifth.

Rougned Odor hit a leadoff single in the sixth, Adrian Beltre walked with one out in the seventh and Leonys Martin singled with one out in the ninth for the only other runners Feldman permitted. The right-hander did not allow anyone past second base.

Feldman has been solid of late, giving up three runs or fewer in six of his last seven starts.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rangers: LHP Derek Holland (left knee) was activated from the 60-day disabled list and will make his first start of the season Tuesday in Kansas City.

Astros: INF Marwin Gonzalez was scratched from the lineup with discomfort in his right hamstring. Gregorio Petit started at shortstop for Gonzalez. ... OF George Springer (left quadriceps) is not ready to move forward with explosive activity, manager Bo Porter said. There is no timetable for when Springer might return. "At this point, we just go day to day and see how he progresses and continues with the therapy," Porter said.

UP NEXT

Texas RHP Nick Martinez (3-10) looks to rebound Sunday in the finale of the four-game series. He was tagged for five runs over five innings in his most recent start Tuesday.

The Astros will send LHP Dallas Keuchel (10-9) to the mound for his fourth start against the Rangers this season.

SUSPENDED

Astros minor league pitcher Ruben Alaniz was suspended 50 games without pay for violating baseball's drug program. The commissioner's office announced that Alaniz was punished following a second positive test for a drug of abuse.

The 23-year-old right-hander has no record and a 6.44 ERA in 14 games, including one start, with Double-A Corpus Christi this season.

ROSTER MOVES

Texas designated OF Mike Carp for assignment. ... The Rangers optioned RHP Nick Tepesch to Triple-A Round Rock to make room for Ross. Tepesch is scheduled to start for Texas on Wednesday in Kansas City.

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