Guerrero will try to lead the Los Angeles Angels to their first 2-0 start in three seasons when they continue a season-opening series against Texas on Tuesday night.
The 2004 AL MVP had an RBI double in the first inning to spur Los Angeles (1-0) to a 4-1 win over Texas on Monday night, spoiling Ron Washington’s debut as Rangers manager and Sammy Sosa’s return to the major leagues.
John Lackey allowed one unearned run in five innings as the Angels won their fourth straight opening-day game.
“He made the pitches when he needed to,” Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia said of Lackey.
Texas (0-1), which lost its fourth consecutive season opener, was 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position.
“Leaving runners out there is always a key to a loss,” Washington said. “But many of those opportunities were with two outs, and two-out knocks are not easy to get.”
Now in his fourth season in Southern California, Guerrero’s batting average against the Rangers is his best against any opponent. He hit safely in his first 44 career games against Texas before going 0-for-1 with four walks - three intentional in his first three at-bats - of a 10-3 win last Aug. 5.
Though he failed to record a hit off Texas pitchers in two games after that, Guerrero still is hitting .430 (92-for-214) in 55 games with 20 homers, 46 RBIs and 47 runs against the Rangers.
Guerrero is batting .355 (11-for-31) with two homers and seven RBIs in his career against Vicente Padilla, who gets the start for the Rangers on Tuesday.
The right-hander was 2-0 with a 5.09 ERA in four starts against the Angels last season. His best outing against them came on Sept. 17, when he allowed seven hits and walked three over 7 1-3 innings for the win in Texas’ 8-1 rout. Guerrero was 0-for-4 in that contest.
Padilla set career highs in wins (15), quality starts (20) and strikeouts (156) last season, his first with Texas after five-plus years in Philadelphia.
Kelvim Escobar starts his 11th major league season trying to bounce back from an 11-14 record last year. The right-hander is just 2-8 with a 4.52 ERA in 29 games - 11 starts - versus the Rangers, and had his shortest outing of the season against them last year.
On Sept. 26, Escobar threw only 35 pitches over 1 2-3 innings and was tagged for five runs and seven hits in a 5-2 loss.
Sosa, who needs 12 homers for 600 in his career, started in right field Monday and went 0-for-3 with a strikeout in his first major league game since playing with Baltimore on Aug. 25, 2005.
He batted .408 (20-for-49) with five homers in 17 spring training contests.
“I have another opportunity, and the reason why I’m here is that I still can play,” said Sosa, who has never faced Escobar.