Rangers fans have experienced several Aprils where everything seemed to go wrong. The 2011 season opened with a weekend where everything went right. Playing in front of a Rangers Ballpark record setting opening series crowd, The Rangers hit four more home runs – all solo shots – to run their series total to 11 and rode seven strong innings by Matt Harrison to win 5-1 and complete a sweep of the preseason AL favorite Boston Red Sox.
Harrison cruised through six innings, allowing three hits and no walks and striking out seven. In the seventh, he allowed two hits and walked his first two batters, but battled through, striking out Jacoby Ellsbury to end the threat after allowing just one run.
Meanwhile, four of the Rangers’ five hits off of Clay Buchholz were home runs by David Murphy, Ian Kinsler, Mike Napoli and Nelson Cruz. The first four batters reached in the ninth, during Jonathan Papelbon’s first inning of the season, plating an insurance run, before Neftali Feliz pitched a perfect ninth.
The Rangers will host the Seattle Mariners in a three game set starting Monday in a series pitting the early AL West leaders.