The Texas Rangers bullpen gets roughed up after a strong first start by Martin Perez.
The Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners faced off in the first evening game of the season on Tuesday night. Hisashi Iwakuma got the nod for the Mariners and Martin Perez started on the bump for the Rangers. Both starters pitched well, giving up 2 runs apiece over 5 innings for Iwakuma and 6 for Perez.
The 2-2 draw when the starters departed game left the outcome in the hands of the bullpens. A situation the Texas Rangers hope will favor their club over the course of this season. It was not meant to be on this night however, as the bullpen of the Rangers was torched for 8 runs on the evening.
The calamity began with Tony Barnette giving up 2 runs while making his MLB debut in the 7th inning. Former Ranger Leonys Martin drove in what would prove to be the game winning run with an RBI triple off Barnette. The 2 runs ensured Barnette got tagged with the first loss of the Ranger’s season, though he was far from the only bullpen piece to struggle this evening.
It proved to be a rather forgettable season debut for Tom Wilhelmsen and Andrew Faulkner as well. Wilhelmsen was unable to retire a batter in an 8th inning where he was pounded for 5 runs by his former team. After giving up a 2 run homer to Seth Smith, Wilhelmsen plunked the next hitter Chris Ianetta and was promptly tossed from the game. Faulkner was then brought in to try to get through the 8th inning, and was able to do so, but not before giving up a 2 run homer to the first batter he faced, another former ranger, Luis Sardinas.
That would prove to be a theme for the evening, as former Rangers Nelson Cruz, Leonys Martin, and Luis Sardinas would combine to go 4-8 with 2 of the Mariners 4 home runs and 4 RBIs.
On the offensive side for the Texas Rangers, it was another relatively quiet game. The entirety of the Rangers offensive output came in the 4th inning on RBI hits by Elvis Andrus and Robinson Chirinos. The Rangers were able to rack up numerous base-runners over the course of the game with 7 hits to go along with 5 walks, and a hit batter. Base-runners didn’t translate into runs on this night however, as the rangers were held to just 2-11 with RISP.
Up next, the Texas Rangers will look to rebound quickly as they take on the Mariners in the rubber match and series finale on Wednesday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 PM CT with Colby Lewis expected to go for the Rangers against Wade Miley for the Mariners.