The Texas Rangers (1-3) lost three out of four against the Houston Astros (3-1) to open the 2018 season at Globe Life Park in Arlington.
The lone run for the Rangers in the first game of the 2018 Lone Star series came when shortstop Elvis Andrus scored on a wild pitch, while designated hitter Shin-Soo Choo’s batted in the ninth inning. Texas lost 4-1.
Ranger ace Cole Hamels pitched 5 2/3 innings of three-run ball with seven strikeouts and four walks. Then, reliever Jose Leclerc finished the sixth inning with a strikeout. Following Leclerc, righty Chris Martin pitched a scoreless seventh with two strikeouts before reliever Matt Bush pitched a one-run eighth with two walks and two strikeouts. Finally, reliever Kevin Jepsen finished the Rangers’ opening-day pitching efforts with a scoreless ninth, which included a strikeout.
Ranger right fielder Nomar Mazara hit a solo home run, his first of the season, in the second inning of game two. Two innings later, catcher Robinson Chirinos and second baseman Rougned Odor added to the Ranger’s lead with a pair of sacrifice flies. In the seventh, first baseman Joey Gallo used his first double of the season to drive in a run before Andrus hit an RBI single. Texas won 5-1.
Ranger starter Doug Fister earned his first Ranger win with five innings of one-run ball, three strikeouts and three walks. Then, Martin earned his first hold with a scoreless 2/3 innings before lefty Alex Claudio pitched a scoreless four-out appearance. Finally, Jepsen pitched a scoreless eighth before righty Keone Kela closed the game with a scoreless ninth.
Andrus started the Ranger’s offense in game three with a solo home run, his first, in the third inning.
Three innings later, Andrus scored on third baseman Adrian Beltre’s second double of the season. Then, Mazara used a RBI single to drive in the Ranger’s third and final run of the game. Texas lost 9-3.
Ranger lefty Matt Moore struggled in his Ranger debut, which included four innings, four earned runs allowed and six strikeouts. Then, righty Nick Gardewine, who was called up after center fielder Delino DeShields was placed on the disabled list for a hand fracture, gave up a run in the fifth. Following Gardewine, righty Jesse Chavez allowed three runs during sixth and seventh inning. Then, lefty Jake Diekman allowed a run in a one-out appearance before Leclerc pitched a scoreless two-out appearance. Finally, reliever Matt Bush pitched a scoreless ninth.
Gallo started the scoring in the series finale with his first home run of the season, a solo shot, in the first. The Rangers were shut down until third baseman Drew Robinson hit his first home run of the season, also a solo shot, in the eighth. Texas lost 8-2.
Ranger lefty Mike Minor limited Houston to two runs during a 4 2/3 innings start, which included a pair of walks and five strikeouts. Then, Martin pitched 2/3 innings and allowed two runs before Claudio allowed three runs in one inning of work. Jepsen finished the seventh with a scoreless two-out appearance before Gardewine allowed a run during a two-inning appearance.
The Rangers will face the Oakland Athletics (1-3) in a four-game series in Oakland from Monday to Thursday. These games can be heard on:
Monday- 107.9 Tulsa at 8:30 p.m.
Tuesday- 107.9 Tulsa at 10 p.m.
Wednesday-107.9 Tulsa at 8:30 p.m.
Thursday- Franchise 2, 1560 AM at 2 p.m.