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Phils' Papelbon walks in deciding run in Rangers' 4-3 win

The SportsXchange

ARLINGTON, Texas - Left fielder Shin-Soo Choo was one of the most sought-after free agents this off-season because of the varied ways he can impact a game offensively.

A day after scoring the winning run in the bottom of the ninth, Choo drove in the game-winner for the Texas Rangers on Wednesday with a bases-loaded walk against Philadelphia Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon, who had trouble throwing strikes in a save situation.

Papelbon's walk to Choo forced in the winning run, capping a three-run ninth inning comeback rally for a 4-3 Rangers win.

Pinch-hitter Jim Aducci, who scored the winning run, and center fielder Leonys Martin also had run-scoring singles in helping the Rangers rally from a two-run deficit. Reliever Seth Rosin (1-0) worked two scoreless innings of relief to earn the win.

Before Wednesday, Papelbon had allowed only one run in 23 2/3 innings in his career against Texas, which took two of three over the Phillies (1-2) to start the season.

"That's a good team," said designated hitter Mitch Moreland, who had a double and scored a run in the ninth. "He's [Papelbon] definitely had a lot of success, so to go out and rally at the end and come out with a win to seal the series is definitely nice to start the season.

The comeback marred an otherwise good outing by Philadelphia pitcher Kyle Kendrick, who pitched seven strong innings.

Kendrick stymied the Rangers' potent batting order, holding them to one run on five hits and four strikeouts. He walked one.

"Obviously, this is a disappointment," said Papelbon, who pitched a scoreless ninth inning in the Phillies' season-opening victory on Monday in a non-save situation.

"I thought Kendrick pitched well enough to deserve that win," Papelbon added. "Unfortunately, the bullpen wasn't able to preserve it for him. The whole inning was just one of those innings."

The runs scored off Ryan Howard's two-run home run in the third looked as if they would stand up until Adrian Beltre led off the ninth with a single. Moreland, who also had a triple and two runs scored, followed by a one-out double.

Beltre scored from third on Aducci's cue-ball infield hit and Moreland scored the tying run on Martin's sharply hit ball to center field.

"I've got to be able to regroup," Papelbon said.

Making his first major-league start, Robbie Ross gave up three runs - only two earned - over five innings. He allowed seven hits, struck out seven and walked one.

He made one mistake: a 1-1 hanging slider that Howard crushed into the deepest part of the park in center field. Carlos Ruiz, who reached on a one-out walk, preceded Howard across the plate.

Ruiz was 2-for-4 with a double and single and two runs scored.

Kendrick held Nos. 3-5 in the Texas order to 1-for-9 and struck out Prince Fielder twice.

His only real glitch was a Moreland triple and Martin's run-scoring single in the seventh.

"I knew we had a chance because our offense can explode," said Rosin, who earned his first major-league victory. "It was pretty cool watching the ninth from the dugout."

The Phillies put an unearned run on the board to start the game. Ruiz came around to score from second on second baseman Chase Utley's single to center. Ruiz stopped at third but continued on when Martin let the ball slip through his legs.

NOTES: Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl-winning quarterback Russell Wilson, a Rule 5 pick of the Rangers in December, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Wilson played two summers in the Colorado Rockies' organization before being picked up by the Rangers. ... Philadelphia RF Marlon Byrd reached base for the 17th consecutive game at Globe Life Park in Arlington with a single in the fifth. ... After a game at designated hitter, Chase Utley was back at his familiar second base, though not alongside Jimmy Rollins at short. The two have made 1,073 starts together, the most among active middle-infield combos in the majors. Rollins did not start Wednesday. ... The Rangers travel Thursday to Tampa Bay, where they will start a three-game series with the Rays on Friday. The Phillies begin a three-game series in Chicago against the Cubs on Friday.
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