It’s been a while since things has gone right for the Rangers in their first four games of a season – 15 years to be exact. Texas continued their hot run with a 6-4 win over Erik Bedard and the Mariners. Derek Holland won his first start by pitching six innings and allowing three runs on seven hits and a walk. He struck out five and left the game to the bullpen with a 6-3 lead.
The Rangers hit two more home runs – both notable – to lead their attack and run their season total to 13 in four games. Nelson Cruz became the third player in major league history to homer in his first four games, while Elvis Andrus went deep for the first time since 2009. Cruz also singled and walked, and Michael Young had his second straight two-hit game. Julio Borbon stayed hot to open the season, with a two-run triple.
The Rangers changed their bullpen formula slightly for the last three innings, turning to Darren O’Day in a familiar seventh inning role, but after Darren Oliver pitched two semi-close eighth innings over the weekend, Ron Washington went with another lefty in his 40’s – Arthur Rhodes. Rhodes allowed a run to narrow the score to 6-4, but struck out Ryan Langerhans with a man on third to end the threat. Neftali Feliz pitched a perfect ninth for the third time, but for his first save of the season.
Game two of the series will pit two newcomers on the mound. High end prospect Michael Pineda will make his major league debut for the Mariners, and 2010 relief revelation Alexi Ogando will start his first major league game. Texas will look to move to 5-0 and win their second series of the season.