Texas Gets Sweep, Best Start Since '96

With a 12-8 win on Thursday, the Rangers completed an opening series sweep and go 3-0 for first time since '96.

The Rangers are off to their best start in 13 years.

Now, this is a mere three games into the season, and expectations are still, no doubt, tempered. But I’ll take the happiness where I can get it, ephemeral or not. One would do well to pick up this trait if you consider yourself a Rangers fan.

And, despite the miniscule sample size, there’s no reason to be anything but enthused about these young Rangers at the moment. They did not beat the Indians; they whipped them unmercifully and rode them out of town with a furious vengeance.

Carl Pavano was welcomed back to the Major Leagues rather unceremoniously by Texas on Thursday, who chased him in the second inning. Pavano gave up nine earned runs, two (pretty huge) bombs and walked three in 1+ innings of work. His ERA stands at an obese 81.00.

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Texas put up 5 in the first, including a three-run home run by Marlon Byrd, and 4 in the second. Ian Kinsler added a two-run home run in the bottom of that inning. Andruw Jones had three hits in his Rangers debut, including a double.

Brandon McCarthy pitched well enough in his 2009 debut, scattering 5 hits 4 walks and a hit batter, and giving up 3 runs over five innings of work. He struck out seven.

The Rangers Ballpark in Arlington lived up to its reputation as a veritable launching pad on Thursday, with Texas and Cleveland combining for seven home runs.

Scott Feldman pitched a rough 2 1/3 innings in his bullpen debut, surrendering four runs before being pulled in favor of Josh Rupe. Rupe and Eddie Guardado staved off Cleveland’s homer-happy offense the rest of the way, although Guardado surrendered a ninth inning home run to Travis Hafner.

Texas won 12-8, cementing the sweep and the best start since 1996, when the team made their first playoff appearance and began a span of three postseason berths in four years.

Texas will head to Detroit for a three-game set with the Tigers, beginning on Friday.

Kris Benson will get the start for the Rangers, facing former-Ranger Armando Galarraga.

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