“Gabbard went out there and did great job of holding a great team down,” Texas manager Ron Washington said. “Those guys can swing the bat and he kept them off balance.
“He certainly proved what pitching is about—change speeds and throw strikes and work fast.”
The Rangers built an 11-0 lead and the Angels didn’t score until the ninth, when Howie Kendrick started a six-run outburst with a two-run triple off Dustin Nippert. Washington finally brought in closer Eddie Guardado, the third reliever in the inning, to get the final out.
“We had an 11-0 lead, and if we couldn’t hold an 11-0 lead, we didn’t deserve to win,” Washington said. “We didn’t want to bring in (Franklyn) German and Guardado, but we had to get the outs.”
Broussard drove a pitch from Dustin Moseley into the seats in right-center with one out in the fourth inning for a 5-0 lead. It was his second homer of the season.
Asked about having six career grand slams, Broussard said, “Getting in there when they have to pitch to you, you get some opportunities. There’s nowhere to put you.”
Moseley (0-1) said he shouldn’t have thrown a breaking pitch on the 1-1 count against Broussard.
“It wasn’t a terrible pitch. It was more bad pitch selection on my part,” Moseley said. “I’d thrown maybe two breaking balls all game. Going to your third best pitch in that situation is not very smart.”
Gabbard (1-0), who turns 26 on April 8, scattered seven hits, struck out four and walked two in his 20th major league start.
He escaped a bases-loaded jam in the fourth inning, when he got Robb Quinlan to ground into an inning-ending double play. Gabbard benefited from three double plays and said, “I kept the ball on the ground and the defense behind me was unbelievable.”
The Rangers’ Josh Hamilton had an RBI triple and two-run double, and Ian Kinsler went 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles and two RBIs. Each doubled home a pair of runs during a five-run eighth inning for the 11-0 lead that brought boos from the sellout crowd of 43,838 as most headed for the parking lot.
Moseley, pressed into the starting rotation because of injuries to John Lackey and Kelvim Escobar, allowed five runs and six hits in five innings. He struck out four, but had control problems. He walked two, threw two wild pitches, hit Byrd with a pitch and took 91 pitches to get through five innings.
The Rangers’ Hank Blalock, who had been fighting flu-like symptoms for several days, was scratched shortly before game time because he felt lightheaded during batting practice.
Los Angeles 3B and leadoff man Chone Figgins went 3-for-3 and walked twice. … Texas had scored a total of just eight runs in the opening series in Seattle, where they lost two of three. … Angels RHP Scot Shields, who had problems with his shoulder and forearm in spring training, is expected to come off the 15-day DL on Saturday. The setup man struck out three and allowed two hits in one inning of relief at Triple-A Salt Lake on Thursday. … Gabbard, who made an opening-day roster this year for the first time, was 0-1 with a 10.80 ERA in five starts this spring. … The Angels are 21-27 all-time in home openers.