ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)—Kenny Rogers probably wouldn’t mind the Texas hitters spreading out a few of those runs.
The left-hander finally got a lot more offensive support than he needed, along with his first win as a 40-year-old pitcher.
“We haven’t given him much support, so today, he enjoyed pitching,” catcher Rod Barajas said. “He’s had hard luck but he continues to be consistent and just does the same thing. … He kept the ball down in the zone, got them to swing at bad pitches and didn’t make any mistakes.”
Rogers (1-2) needed five starts to get his first win this year. Texas scored just two runs in his previous two starts, both losses, and he trailed 1-0 when he left after six innings in his first start.
“We jumped out there and gave Kenny something to work with, something he hasn’t had,” manager Buck Showalter said. “He’s got some starts this year that he should have gotten a `W.”’
Young’s third homer came before the Rangers even made an out. Richard Hidalgo, mired in a 6-for-54 slump and starting for only the second time in five games, added a two-run single in the five-run first.
“Getting on the board early just gave Kenny a chance to relax and do what he does best,” said Mench, who had a double before Hidalgo’s hit.
Rogers walked five, but three of those came with two outs, and no Seattle runner reached third base. He left after 105 pitches, just 57 for strikes.
“It’s like the ball never gets to you, and you never hit it square,” Bret Boone said. “But that’s how he’s made his living. He has a lot of movement on his fastball.”
Rogers left without talking to reporters. That has been common since spring training, when he got upset about reports of a meeting he had with owner Tom Hicks before camp in which he sought a contract extension, and reportedly threatened to retire if he didn’t get one.
Texas got 10 hits in 4 1-3 innings against Ryan Franklin (1-3), who came in allowing opponents to hit just .163—the best in the AL. He had worked at least eight innings in all three of his starts since returning to the rotation.
The Rangers started the fifth with three straight singles, with Kevin Mench’s hit driving in a run. After Hidalgo popped out to the catcher, Laynce Nix hit an RBI single to make it 7-0 and chase Franklin.
“They’re a fastball-hitting team, so I was trying to throwing the sinker out of the strike zone,” Franklin said. “But they were laying off of it.”
Nix hit a solo homer in the seventh on the first pitch he saw from Jeff Nelson, who had just struck out Mench and Hidalgo.
Nix, Mench and Mark Teixeira were all 2-for-4.
There also were a couple of nice defensive plays for the Rangers, including one by Rogers, a three-time Gold Glove winner.
On a comebacker by Wilson Valdez in the fifth, the ball popped off the heel of Rogers’ glove. The ball rolled away from him toward first base, but he picked it up and threw as he fell to the ground to get the out.
With two runners on in the sixth, first baseman Teixeira ran up the line in foul territory and made an over-the-shoulder catch of Miguel Olivo’s pop for the final out. Teixeira made a similar, but not quite as difficult play on Adrian Beltre to start the eighth.
Seattle is 1-5 vs. left-handed starters. … Nix is hitting .400 (10-for-25) with six RBIs in the six games since being recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma, where he started the season. … Rangers DH David Dellucci had another walk, his AL-high 18th in 16 games. … Seattle is 6-4 on the road this season.