Rangers 7, Angels 5
“He’s had two great starts so far, and we expect Chan Ho to continue that,” Young said. “I think he’s made some quality adjustments. That’s definitely encouraging for us.”
Park (1-0) gave up three runs and five hits in 6 2-3 innings, struck out six and walked one. He had been 3-6 with a 5.38 ERA in 14 starts against the Angels, including 0-4 with a 9.00 ERA last year.
Rangers manager Buck Showalter wanted to see a more aggressive style from Park, by throwing more strikes and getting ahead in the count. Park used the fastball early in the count, then had the Angels off-stride with breaking pitches, striking out six in first three innings.
“I made a lot of good pitches,” said Park after his first win against the Angels in seven starts with the Rangers. “I threw off-speed curveballs and change-ups. The first three innings, guys struck out with off-speeds. I was aggressive. I still got some power, fastballs, but I understand ball-movement better, going down, and mix the pitches better.”
Park also was effective in his first start on April 8 at Seattle, allowing three runs and four hits over 5 2-3 innings.
“He pitched well his first time,” Showalter said. “He should be 2-0. He kept the ball down. He had good tempo. He changed the speed on his breaking ball.”
Alfonso Soriano went 3-for-5 to help the Rangers to their first victory in three home games this season.
With the game tied at 1, the Rangers loaded the bases against Paul Byrd (0-2) with two outs in the fifth on singles by Kevin Mench and Soriano, and a walk to Hank Blalock. Young hit a liner over center fielder Steve Finley and off the wall, and Mark Teixeira followed with an RBI double for a 5-1 lead.
“At that point, I figured we needed a big hit to try and get something rolling,” Young said. “I think early, we were a little tight and I tried to do something to loosen us up offensively.”
Finley said he should have made the catch.
“I jumped too soon,” he said. “I had another step. I just made a mistake … bad judgment on my part as to where the wall was.”
Byrd gave up six runs and eight hits in six innings, and said his undoing was his inability to get a key out in the fifth.
“I couldn’t make a pitch to get a strikeout or that last out in the fifth,” Byrd said. “It’s very frustrating. But over the long haul, I’ll be OK.”
Soriano’s RBI single in the eighth extended the Rangers’ lead to 7-3.
AL MVP Vladimir Guerrero, who bruised his right knee when he was hit by a throw while stealing third base Tuesday, went 1-for-4 as a designated hitter, extending his hitting streak against Texas to 24 games, the longest active streak in the majors against one team.
Park was sharp from the start, retiring his first eight batters before Chone Figgins’ third-inning homer. The Rangers tied it in the third when David Dellucci walked, stole second and scored on Rod Barajas’ single.
The Angels won four of the first five meetings with the Rangers this season. … Showalter has used eight different lineups in the first nine games. … Young has at least one hit in all nine games this season. … Texas relievers had five blown saves in their first seven appearances. …Byrd has allowed six runs in each of his first two starts, both losses.