It wasn’t perfect baseball, but it’s a win.
The Texas Rangers were held to just one hit, but still managed to get three runs on the board and beat the Seattle Mariners 3-2 on Opening Day in front of a sellout crowd at Globe Life Park in Arlington. According to Elias Sports Bureau, the Rangers are the first team in the modern era to win a season opener despite getting one hit or fewer.
Texas found themselves down early in the first after Robinson Cano connected for a solo homer off starter Cole Hamels. Hamels then gave up another solo home run to Kyle Seager in the second inning to make it a 2-0 deficit.
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The Rangers were held hitless against Mariners’ ace Felix Hernandez until the fifth when walks and sloppy defense led to the Rangers cutting the lead in half. Prince Fielder then broke up the no-hitter and brought in the tying run on a bloop single to left.
“I turned the GPS on and made sure,” joked Fielder, the Rangers' DH.
The Rangers would score the deciding run later in the inning on another error.
“We were fortunate enough to get a couple of walks and able to score on the error,” said Fielder. “It wasn’t pretty but it worked out. That’s a good sign. We didn’t exactly swing the bat well but everybody had good at bats.”
“We just got one hit but we got enough runs to win,” added third baseman Adrian Beltre. “That’s what we were looking for.”
As for Hamels, he settled down after allowing the two solo homers in the first two innings. He finished with seven innings in the books, allowing only two runs on four hits with eight strikeouts on 104 pitches to get the win.
“I felt good,” said Hamels. “This is what we condition ourselves for. You don’t see it necessarily during spring training but you are building up towards 100 pitches and now it’s just a matter of recovering and preparing for the game in five days.”
Jake Diekman pitched a scoreless eighth inning, then Shawn Tolleson closed the door in the ninth for the save.
“It was nice to get out there in the first game of the season and definitely get a win,” said Tolleson. “A win like that says a lot about our team.”
“That’s kind of living up to the mantra that we have, never ever quit no matter what,” added Hamels. “Games are never going to be easy. At the end of the day, a victory on Opening Day is exactly what we were wanting.”