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Rangers Rally for 9-5 Opening Day Win

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Opening Day Victory

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Closing pitcher Neftali Feliz celebrates after closing out the top of the ninth inning.

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The Texas Rangers rallied for a 9-5 victory over the Boston Red Sox in front of a sellout crowd on Opening Day.

The eighth-largest crowd in team history -- 50,146 people -- watched the team raise the American League championship flag Friday.

"You could make a case that this game -- it's tougher to get a ticket for this game than it was for some of the playoff games last year," Rangers spokesman John Blake said.

And fans are optimistic about the season after last year's trip to the World Series.

"The Rangers haven't had a lot of success, you would say, but every year, Opening Day -- if we win -- we're undefeated," fan Aaron Husman said before the game. "We've got just a good a chance as anybody else."

And undefeated the Rangers now are.

Rangers rally in the eighth

Pinch-hitter David Murphy delivered a tiebreaking, two-run double in the eighth inning.

"There isn't anything changed with those guys," manager Ron Washington said.

Murphy's slicing liner to the opposite field off hard-throwing Daniel Bard kicked up chalk when it landed and rolled into the left-field corner.

"My body language brought it back in. I was praying the ball would hit the chalk, and it did," Washington said. "When it hit the chalk, I lost it."

Rangers newcomers Mike Napoli and Yorvit Torrealba ran home to break a 5-all tie. Murphy scored on a double by Elvis Andrus before another double by AL MVP Josh Hamilton.

Napoli, Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz all homered for Texas.

Darren Oliver, the fourth Texas pitcher, got the victory even after allowing a homer to David Ortiz in the top of the eighth that tied the game.

The Red Sox had leads of 2-0 and 4-2.

Texas-sized crowd for Opening Day

Fans new and old hit Rangers Ballpark in Arlington exactly five months after the team's post-season run ended with Game 5 of the World Series.

"There's a lot of energy, but I'm going to be surprised if they perform like they did last year," veteran fan Jere Francis said.

David Burgess, a brand-new season ticket holder, said before the game that he was looking forward to it.

"It feels good," he said. "At work today, I was telling people I was coming to the game, and they were jealous and envious -- not that I was rubbing it in."

And he's not the only new fan to head to the ballpark.

"We've sold over a million and a half [tickets] total already for this season," Blake said. "We didn't reach that figure until June 22nd a year ago."

John Estes took his 5-year-old son to the game.

"For him, it's his first Opening Day," he said. "He really got into it last year watching them make their World Series run."

David Skeels, who used to play minor league baseball, also showed up with his son, 5-year-old Mack, in tow.

"He's not even six, but this is his sixth-straight Opening Day, and we wouldn't miss it for the world."

The Rangers take on the Red Sox again Saturday, where they will receive their AL Championship rings before first pitch.

The Associated Press' Stephen Hawkins and NBC DFW's Randy McIlwain and Omar Villafranca contributed to this report.

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