Welcome to WFAA.com's live Rangers coverage! I'm Josh Davis, and I'll be one of two bloggers bringing you the latest from Arlington all season long. If you have questions, comments or suggestions, be sure to fire away -- this blog is for you, the fan, and will adapt over time. Today's Opening Day game against Boston will start at 3:05 p.m. and live coverage will start just before that. Until then, read up on today's notes from the clubhouse or peruse today's starting lineup! Should be a great year.
We're minutes away here in Arlington following the first pitch from former Rangersoutfielder Jeff Burroughs and pitcher Charlie Hough. The press box is absolutely packed today, so I'm coming to you live from the WFAA TV box in left field.
The Rangers have put together a crowd-pleasing video to show off their brand new video board in right field. It's a very impressive sight, even with the world's largest residing accross the street. Fans reacted in a big way to Nolan Ryan pounding Robin Ventura, but nothing matched their cheers when footage of the ALCS from last season was on the board.
The Rangers have taken the field, and C.J. Wilson is warming up... And now we're underway. Not the start Texas wanted, as Nelson Cruz and Julio Borbon ran into each other in the outfield, turning a routine pop fly from Jacoby Ellsbury into two bases on an error.
After a Dustin Pedroia fly out to left field, Ellsbury advanced to third. Carl Crawford followed with a liner handled by Elvis Andrus, before Kevin Youkilis brought in Ellsbury on a double. Adrian Gonzalez singled on a line-drive to right field, bringing around Youkilis before he was thrown out at second to end the inning, with Boston leading 2-0.
However, it didn't take long for second baseman Ian Kinsler to get the Rangers on the board. Kinsler answered with a home run to left on the Rangers first at-bat this year. 2-1, Boston. Elvis Andrus got on base thanks to a fielding error by Youkilis. Josh Hamilton, batting third, grounded into a double play. Finally, Adrian Beltre ended the inning with a groundout of his own. 2-1, Red Sox after one.
In the top of the second, David Ortiz led off with a groundout, before Mike Cameron struck out swinging. Wilson got his second K of the game from former Ranger Jarrod Saltalamacchia to end the top of the second.
Michael Young grounded out in his first at bat of the year to lead off the second. Nelson Cruz followed by showing off his much-hyped boomstick this year. Cruz launched his first home run of the season barely past the left-field wall, tying the game 2-2. After that, Mike Napoli was called out on batter interference and Yorvit Torrealba ended the second on a ground out. 2-2 after two.
Another groundout to start the third brought Ellsbury back to the top of the order, where he doubled on a line drive to right field. A single from Pedroia moved Ellsbury to third, before Wilson struck out Crawford for his third strikeout. Youkilis walked to load the bases with two outs. Wilson worked Gonzalez to a full count before Gonzalez delivered a liner straight through the center field gap, scoring Ellsbury and Pedroia. Ortiz ended tthe top of the third on a groundout, with his Red Sox leading 4-2.
Borbon, Kinsler and Andrus all grounded out in the bottom of the third to end the inning for Texas.
Boston answered with a groundout, followed by a pop fly to deep center and another groundout to end their fourth inning.
Josh Hamilton grounded out in the fourth before Beltre had his first hit as a Ranger on a single to shallow left.Michael Young flew out to right field, bringing up Nelson Cruz. Cruz dribbled a single to left to put runners on first and second. Mike Napoli followed with Texas' third home run of the game, a three run shot to take the lead 5-4 in the fourth. Torrealba grounded out to end the inning with a one-run lead.
Ellsbury led off the fifth with his second hit of the day, a line drive to center field. Wilson picked up his fourth strikeout over Dustin Pedroia, against one walk. Boston starter Jon Lester has no walks or strikeouts thusfar. Ellsbury advanced to second on a steal as Crawford faced a full count. Wilson earned his fifth K with an 82 mph sinker. A Youkilis flyout chased down by Hamilton ended the top of the fifth with the Rangers still leading 5-4.
Borbon was hit by a pitch to reach first, then was tagged out at second as Kinsler grounded into a force out. Lester followed by hitting Elvis Andrus, followed by a mound visit from Terry Francona. Hamilton flew out to leave men on first and second with two outs. Adrian Beltre couldn't do any more damage to his former team, flying out to deep right to end the fifth.
In the sixth, Gonzalez grounded out before Ortiz struck out swinging. Wilson settled in very nicely after a rocky start. Following the strikeout, Wilson walked Mike Cameron and Washington decided C.J.'s day was over. Mark Lowe is in to warm up with two outs in the sixth.
Wilson's final line reads 5.2 IP, six hits, four runs (two earned) and six strikeouts to two walks.
Lowe finished the sixth fielding a soft ground out to first, still leading 5-4.
The traditional dot race had a new look today as Jim Bowie, Davy Crockett and Sam Houston took part in a Texas legends race. It was announced the dots were not prepared for the season and were still in Surprize, Arizona. Not sure if the Texas legends race is here to stay, but for now, Sam Houston is 1-0.
After another Young groundout, Lester walked Cruz. The lefty gave up another single to put runners on first and second as Francona went out to remove Lester. With one out in the bottom of the sixth, Matt Albers has come in for Boston.
Albers was 5-3 with a 4.52 ERA for Baltimore last year.
Torrealba grounded into a force out that left runners at the corners before Albers walked Borbon, loading the bases with two outs. Kinsler worked the right hander to a full count before he broke his bat on the seventh pitch, leading to an easy ground out. Heading to the seventh, the Rangers lead 5-4.
The oldest Ranger on the roster, Arhtur Rhodes, has come in to pitch for Texas.
Boston shortstop Marco Scutaro grounded out to begin the seventh before Ellsbury walked. A wild pitch got Ellsbury to second again before a Pedroia flyout. Carl Crawford struck out for the third time today to leave Ellsbury stranded and put Texas back on offense.
Andrus grounded out in the bottom of the seventh before the Red Sox pulled Albers and sent in Dennys Reyes. Reyes walked Josh Hamilton on four pitches before he was removed in favor of Dan Wheeler. Wheeler was 2-4 with a 3.35 ERA last year foir Tampa Bay. Wheeler got Beltre to fly out, then Michael Young hit into a force out. Texas leads 5-4 after seven.
Darren Oliver came in for Texas at the start of the eighth. Oliver got groundouts from Youkilis and Gonzalez, but Ortiz made the Rangers pay with the game-tying solo home run. A Mike Cameron pop-up ended the top of the eigth, with the game tied at five all.
Daniel Bard is in to pitch the eighth for Boston. Nelson Cruz flied out to right field, then Napoli walked. A Torrealba single put a runner in scoring position with David Murphy coming in to pinch hit for Julio Borbon.
With the crowd chanting, "Let's go Rangers," Murphy delivers a deep fly ball that fell just on the fair side of the line. Napoli and Torrealba scored to give the Rangers a 7-5 lead with three outs to go for Texas. Kinsler struck out swinging on a 97 mph fast ball, but Elvis Andrus added to the Texas lead with a double that brought in Murphy. Then, in a nine-pitch at bat, Josh Hamilton delivered his first hit of the year and scored Andrus, bringing the total to 9-5 Texas as the Red Sox again changed pitchers.
Tim Wakefield is in for Boston with two outs in the bottom of the eighth. Wakefield walked Adrian Beltre before Michael Young flied out to end the eighth. Neftali Feliz is in to close for Texas as some fans head to the exits.
Feliz struck out Saltalamacchia before Scutaro grounded out. The game ended on a Jacoby Ellsbury strikeout.
That's it for today's live coverage. Be sure to check back in shortly for clubhouse reactions to today's 9-5 win over Boston.