Rangers win opening series, 2-1

Phillies Rangers Baseball
Texas Rangers' Shin-Soo Choo (center) is swarmed by teammates including J.P. Arencibia (left) and Martin Perez (right) after drawing a bases-loaded game-winning walk. (Courtesy of AP)

The Rangers opened their much-anticipated season with a three-game series against the Phillies at home. The first game of the season was a slugfest, but Texas wasn’t able to trump the Phillies. The next two games were lower scoring, but ended up much better for the Rangers.

Might as Well have Called it Opening Batting Practice

Starting Tanner Scheppers due to a trio of injuries, the Rangers paid dearly early on. This was highlighted by a Jimmy Rollins grand slam in the second to give the Phillies a 6-0 lead.

Between the second and third innings, Texas put up seven runs against Cliff Lee, including a three-run home run from Alex Rios.

In the next inning, though, Philadelphia answered with a Chase Utley single to tie it up at seven. And after holding the Rangers scoreless in the fourth, John Mayberry Jr. hit a two-run double in the fifth to give the Phillies the lead.

Despite more runs being scored by Texas, the Phillies stayed one step ahead for the rest of the game. Consequently, Philadelphia handed Texas a 14-10 loss on opening day.

Probably Scored Too Many Runs the other night

For the second game of the season, the Rangers trotted out promising sophomore Martin Perez to take on seasoned veteran A.J. Burnett.

While the score was 9-8 going into the sixth inning in game one, it was scoreless in this one.

That was when Rollins and Ryan Howard teamed up to give Philadelphia a 2-0 lead.

Apparently, that’s what was needed to wake up the Texas offense.

In the bottom of the sixth, Mitch Moreland got his first hit of the season with a single to cut the lead in half.

In the seventh, Adrian Beltre gave his second most important hit of the game with a double down the right field line to tie it.

It was the second most important, because after holding the Phillies scoreless following the sixth, Beltre hit a single to right field that brought home the winning run in Shin-Soo Choo.

Not a bad way to gain the first win of the season.

Walk-Off Worked Once, Why Not Again

Robbie Ross was given his first career start for the series final against Kyle Kendrick.

For the third straight game, the Rangers fell behind, giving up runs to Utley in the first and a two-run homer to Howard in the third.

Afterward, Ross and the bullpen teamed up to hold the Phillies scoreless while the Rangers’ offense got going.

Down 3-1 going into the ninth, the Rangers teamed up against Jonathan Papelbon. Beltre singled to open the inning.

The buzz started after Moreland doubled to put men on second and third.

Jim Adduci and Leonys Martin followed that up with singles to tie the score at three.

Donnie Murphy walked in the next at-bat to load the bases.

That’s when Choo, who was signed for his on-base skills, was able to draw a full-count walk that brought in Adduci for the game-winning run.

The Rangers were able to pull out a victory in this series despite losing the first game.

If the Rangers can win these close games until they’re healthy, they’ll be more than fine and should compete for the division as originally anticipated.

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