The Texas Rangers once again had their bats out in full force on Saturday afternoon to take the first half of a double header against the Detroit Tigers. They scored eight runs in the first inning off of Rick Porcello, including a three-run homer from Josh Hamilton and did not look back from there.
Matt Harrison was once again in top form and went 7 2/3 innings, while only giving up two runs. Harrison was perfect for the first three innings, but then gave up a solo home run to Austin Jackson to lead off the fourth inning. Miguel Cabrera then followed with a single and Delmon Young doubled to score him. Those would be the only two runs on the day for Harrison who moved to 3-0 on the season.
Harrison's work gave the bullpen a bit of rest before heading into a stretch where they will be needed more often. Harrison's spot in the rotation will now come back around on Wednesday night against the Yankees in Arlington, but due to the rainout on Friday night the Rangers will be handing the ball to Scott Feldman for his first start of the year. Due to the success of the Rangers' rotation this season, Feldman has not seen consistent work and will be on a shorter pitch count than a traditional starter or even the normal long man would be.
While the starting pitching and offense were once again the story of the day, the bad news for the Rangers came in the second inning when Adrian Beltre doubled to start the inning, but pulled up at second with a strained hamstring. Beltre is listed as day-to-day, but there is obvious reason to be concerned as Beltre missed six-weeks in 2011 with hamstring issues. This does not seem like a major issue and Beltre should be back in the lineup before long, but he was also not expected to miss near the time that he did in 2011.
The only drama really surrounding this game in the later innings was the performance at the plate from Mik Napoli who had homered in his past four games and was completely locked in at the plate. Napoli started the day 0-4, but ended up going deep in the ninth inning to move his home run streak to five games and give him six homers on the year which ties him with Josh Hamilton for the team lead.
The Rangers will now send Neftali Feliz to the mound for the night cap to face Justin Verlander who will be trying to eat away innings for the Tigers' bullpen. It took the Rangers one inning to push Rick Porcello from the game and their bullpen was left to pick up the final eight innings. Feliz enters the game with a 1-0 record and will look to continue the Rangers perfect record for the starting pitchers who are now 10-0 to start the season.
John Bowman is a lifelong baseball and Texas Rangers fan that loves to ponder the deeper aspects of the game. Some of his first baseball memories involve Arlington Stadium nachos, Charlie Hough's knuckleball, dirt on Pete Incaviglia's uniform and the voices of Mark Holtz and Eric Nadel as he fell asleep. Follow him on Twitter @TexasWinColumn.
- Sports & Recreation
- Josh Hamilton
- Matt Harrison
- Rick Porcello
- Adrian Beltre
- Texas Rangers