There must have been some magic in the Fort Worth Black Panther jersey’s the Rangers sported Saturday in honor of the Negro League, as they defeated the Detroit Tigers 12-2.
After falling behind in the second, the Rangers would tie the game in the fourth off a double from Chris Gimenez. A Leonys Martin single would score Gimenez and give the Rangers the lead, before Rougned Odor’s first triple of the game brought the score to 4-1 through four innings.
A solo home run from Beltre in the fifth would make it 5-1, and then a two-run homer from Donnie Murphy in the sixth gave the Rangers a 7-1 lead. Later that inning, a Mitch Moreland double scored Elvis Andrus and the Rangers lead was extended to 8-1.
Three more runs came in the seventh, when Odor hits his second triple of the game, this time with the bases loaded and a full count. Eleven runs weren’t enough padding, so the Rangers added one final run off a Michael Choice double in the ninth.
Odor had four hits and five RBI batting from the ninth spot in the lineup. I feel like it’s important to reiterate this, but Roogie is twenty years old and the youngest players in the majors. His inexperience did not show at all today, as he was able to shine and have a true breakthrough performance.
The explosive offense should not take away from starting pitcher Nick Martinez, who won his first game as a big leaguer and looked outstanding. Facing a powerful Detroit offense, Martinez only gave up one run, and saw his ERA drop to 2.14. Martinez has been consistent for the Rangers since getting the call up from Double-A Frisco, and has seen time as a starter and from the bullpen.
Shawn Tolleson and Neal Cotts both produced shutout innings in relief of Martinez, before Aaron Poreda gave up one run to Detroit in the bottom of the ninth.
Saturday’s win was an important one for the Rangers, as they put on a performance in a nationally televised game, that told America there is more to this team than an injury-plagued roster. Between the experienced all-stars, like Beltre and Andrus, the young talent, like Odor and Martinez, and the quirky underdogs, like Murphy and Gimenez, the Rangers have the potential to pull off a good season.
Colby Lewis faces Justin Verlander Sunday, as the Rangers look to win the series against the Tigers. Game time is slated for 12:08 p.m. CT.