The Texas Rangers beat the Philadelphia Phillies 3-2 in dramatic fashion thanks to a great finish from Adrian Beltre, driving in the two needed runs to turn the game around as the home side evened the season opening series at 1-1.
No one scored until the sixth inning when Jimmy Rollins put the Phillies in the lead with a single that brought home Cesar Hernandez. That was followed by Ryan Howard, for the first time in a very long while not batting at the cleanup position, hit a double to deep right which brought home Rollins himself, giving Philadelphia a 2-0 lead.
But that also sparked something for the Rangers, who scored 10 runs and still lost on opening day against the 14 poured down on them by the Phillies. Mitch Moreland finally got his first hit of the day as Alex Rios ran home, and Adrian Beltre pulled off his first key hit of the game in the 7th inning, with a double off Jacob Diekman that scored Shin-Soo Choo. That combo worked quite well again in the ninth, as a Beltre single off of Mario Hollands, who was making his Major League debut.
Joakim Soria, the Rangers’ closer, also made his season debut, and had a perfect ninth inning, finishing the job with 15 pitches, 8 of them strikers, K’ing one player. He ended up getting the win, while Martin Perez ended up with the no-no after 5.2 innings, allowing 7 hits and 2 runs. A.J. Burnett started for the Phillies, playing six innings and allowing seven hits and one run. Hollands was the one who got the loss to his name, while Diekman was “awarded” a blown save for his rough inning.
So Beltre and Rios carried on with their strong start to the season, currently holding to a .500 average. Still, the Rangers had plenty of opportunity earlier in the game to score, leaving 12 men on base and finishing with 3-of-12 with runners in scoring positions. Rios and Prince Fielder, who is 2-of-9 on his first two games with the Rangers, were a combined 0-for-5 with runners in scoring positions.
Rollins got his fifth RBI of the season following his Grand Slam home run from the previous day. Marlon Byrd had a multiple hit game for the second time in a row, while Hernandez starting at second base finished with 2-for-3. The Phillies finished with a 8-for-33 at the plate, and not having too much to complain about when it comes to missed opportunities, leaving only six players on base and going 2-of-5 with runners in scoring positions.
A big decision to challenge from Ron Washington came in the sixth inning that might have helped Texas win the game in hindsight. Ben Revere was called safe at second base by Cory Blaser on a pickoff attempt by Martin Perez. However, Washington saw Donnie Murphy touching Revere with his glove as he caught the ball before Revere dove onto the bag. The replays showed that Washington’s call was correct.
I knew that I caught the ball at the same time I was tagging him. I had a gut feeling that he wasn’t at the base yet. I think maybe what happened I blocked out the umpire a little bit just because of how the throw was.