- Associated Press - Sunday, August 31, 2014

HOUSTON (AP) - 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.”

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