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First spring game is a rocky one for Feliz

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers reliever Neftali Feliz made his first Cactus League appearance on Sunday, throwing one inning and allowing a two-run homer.

It wasn't an ideal start for Feliz, who missed most of last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery, but the 25-year-old right-hander was also a bit unlucky.

He induced what should have been a double-play ball, but Rangers shortstop Josh Wilson bobbled the transfer. Two batters later, White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers launched his first home run of the spring.

"We're constantly looking for the velocity, but I thought [Feliz] did well," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He got a ground ball for a double play. We turn that double play, he's off the field. Yeah, you've got to pick them up when it doesn't happen, though."

As for that velocity, Feliz hit 92 mph with his fastball, which didn't seem to concern Washington, who noted, "That gun might be a little slow out there." Feliz was up to 100 mph before the injury.

"I think we all would like to see him throw the ball the way we're used to seeing him throw," Washington said. "But the guy just had an operation, and we don't know what's going on."

Feliz made just six appearances last season, and he didn't allow a run. In 2010 and '11 -- the Rangers' two American League pennant-winning seasons -- he saved 59 and 56 games, respectively.

AJ Cassavell is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.
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