The Rangers got their first win of 2014 in walk-off fashion. Adrian Beltre lined a single to right-center field to score Shin-Soo Choo from second and even the Rangers’ opening series with the Phillies at 1-1.
Beltre said the walk-off feeling never gets old and he was happy to come through in the clutch against Phillies right-hander B.J. Rosenberg.
“Definitely. We’re trying to get the first win of the year and you don’t want to start the season 0-2,” Beltre said. “So we’re back to .500 now. It was nice to get that win coming from behind and we got a chance to win the series tomorrow.”
The ninth inning began with Choo drawing a walk on four pitches against Phillies left-hander Mario Hollands, who was making his big-league debut. Elvis Andrus followed with a sacrifice bunt and Prince Fielder drew a walk.
Fielder took a patient approach against Hollands, knowing that if he didn’t get a good pitch to hit, Beltre was behind him.
“It’s definitely dangerous,” Fielder said. “You’ve got so many guys that can contribute. That’s what a good team has, from the leadoff hitter to the nine-hole hitter, everyone can contribute.”
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Replay win: Manager Ron Washington won his first challenge of the season and it could have saved the game. In the sixth inning, Washington felt the Rangers’ pulled off a successful pickoff play to get Ben Revere wandering too far off second base.
The initial ruling was Revere got back safely before Donnie Murphy applied the tag from Martin Perez’s throw. After a 2-minute, 18-second review, though, the call was overturned.
“I thought we had him, but I think the umpire was blocked by me,” Murphy said. “I don’t think he had a clean look at it, but with how I caught it I knew we had him. I was glad we went to replay because I thought it’d get overturned.”
The ruling likely saved a run, as Marlon Byrd singled and Ryan Howard doubled later in the inning.
“I’m a big believer, no matter how long it takes, get the call right,” Beltre said. “If it goes your way or doesn’t go your way, just get it right. And it worked today.”
Perez’s season debut: Left-hander Martin Perez made his season debut, allowing two runs on seven hits with no walks and seven strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings. The seven strikeouts were one shy of matching a career high.
Choo comes through: Shin-Soo Choo reached safely in four of his five plate appearances with two singles, a walk and a hit by pitch. That allowed him to score the game-tying run in the seventh inning and the game-winning run in the ninth. “That’s my job, isn’t it?” Choo said, smiling.
Opening series win? The Rangers have a chance to win the season-opening series for the fourth consecutive season on Wednesday. The last time they lost the season-opening series was in 2010 when the Blue Jays took two of three.