The Texas Rangers have won their first home-opening game since 2013 with a hard-fought win against the Seattle Mariners.
This was a duel between aces Cole Hamels and Felix Hernandez. Hamels emerged victorious, but give a lot of credit to Felix Hernandez and the Mariners bullpen as they gave the Rangers a run for their money, and proved that they came to Texas ready to fight. The Mariners’ pitching staff only allowed ONE hit in this game, but somehow and someway, it was enough for the Rangers to finish the job.
According to Adam J. Morris of SB Nation, the Rangers are the first team in over 100 years to win on Opening Day while recording only one hit.
Hamels had an amazing afternoon. Pitching in seven innings, he surrendered two solo homeruns, allowed four hits, and struck out eight batters.
Jake Diekman entered the game in the eighth inning, which ended up being a quick one with Diekman not allowing any hits and striking out one batter.
Shawn Tolleson came in at the ninth inning to close. He allowed no hits and struck out two batters to seal the win.
Despite surrendering two homeruns early in the game, Hamels stayed focused and accomplished his mission.
“It’s nice to be able to get out there,” Hamels said after the game. “Obviously I wasn’t able to make a couple of big pitches early on, I was hurt, but you just grind away and you get back into that comfort level.”
The Rangers offense, however, was a mess. Seattle’s pitching really embarrassed the Rangers. Other than allowing one hit, they struck out TEN Ranger batters. Prince Fielder, Shin-Soo Choo, Mitch Moreland, and Ian Desmond all struck out a combined six times.
The Rangers scored their first run when Rougned Odor took home plate thanks to a Shin-Soo Choo walk with the bases loaded. After Prince recorded the first and only hit of the game that tied the game 2-2, the Rangers then took a 3-2 lead thanks to an error committed by Seattle, and held on to it for the rest of the game.
During the post-game conference, Rangers Manager Jeff Banister said the offense will continue to work hard.
“We’re gonna run hard, and play hard,” he said. Our approach was solid at Spring Training and I think that’s something that will continue to carryout through the year.”
Game 2 of the series is tonight. Martin Perez will take the mound for the Rangers and he will square off against Hisashi Iwakuma.
The Rangers will need to continue their amazing pitching dominance, but the offense needs to start slugging the ball.