The string of strong starts by Texas Rangers pitchers ended Friday night as Opening Day starter Cole Hamels was pulled after throwing 73 pitches in three innings with the game tied at 4-4.
But a barrage of Rangers homers, including three by Rougned Odor and a two-run walk-off winner in the bottom of the ninth by Bobby Wilson gave the Rangers a 12-11 win.
Solo homers by Odor and Mitch Moreland in the fifth gave the Rangers a 6-4 lead. Odor’s third homer of the night in the seventh helped the Rangers build an 8-5 lead. The Padres scored six unearned runs in the eighth and led 11-9 going into the ninth.
Pitching: Hamels allowed a two-out double to Matt Kemp and a run-scoring single by Wil Myers in the first. The Padres struck again in the third on Derek Norris’ two-run homer to right. Another run scored in Diego Goris’ shallow blooper to center. Hamels was supposed to throw five innings but went only three. He allowed four runs on five hits and three walks with one strikeout. It was only the second outing for Hamels in a major league game this spring. Francisco Mendoza and Tony Barnette each pitched scoreless innings in the fourth and fifth.
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Hitting: Odor was 4 for 4 with three homers, including a lead-off shot in the first. He singled in a run as part of a three-run second to lead the Rangers’ offense early. He led off the fifth with a homer to the same spot beyond the right-field fence. Moreland hit his third homer of spring on a 3-2 pitch with two outs in the fifth to give the Rangers a 6-4 lead. In the seventh, Odor homered again, giving him a four-RBI game. Drew Robinson’s solo homer to center in the eighth pulled the Rangers to within 11-9. In the ninth, back-to-back triples by Eric Jenkins and Ryan Strausborger cut the lead to 11-10 before Wilson’s two-run, walk-off homer to left-center.
Notable: Elvis Andrus made a fielding error on a routine play in the second but in the third inning made a spectacular stop on a bad hop, falling to his left behind second base and flipped to Odor for the force out. Also in the third, the Rangers “kicked” a ball twice on the same play when Diego Goris’ looper to shallow center was booted by James Jones, who then threw wildly to Odor, who preceded to kick toward the third-base dugout. It went as a double and E8, allowing the runner to reach to third.
Rangers at Rockies
3:05 p.m. Saturday
LHP Martin Perez vs. RHP Chad Bettis