A pitching staff that still looks incredibly shaky showed some signs of stability. Sophomore Martin Perez got off to a fast start but then seemed to tire by the middle innings, which is not unusual this time of year. Perez went 5.2 innings and gave up two earned runs. The Rangers need more from their No. 2 starter, but that’s a decent beginning.
The real story was the bullpen, which turned in 3.1 scoreless innings and gave up just one hit. The highlight was Joakim Soria, who showed he was the right guy for the closer job with a perfect ninth. Although the new-look offense was just 3-for-12 with runners in scoring position, Adrian Beltre did come through at the right time with a walkoff single that scored Shin-Soo Choo.
Choo was also hit by a pitch in the game, so he’s well on pace to break his career-high of 26 last season.
Until Yu Darvish, Matt Harrison, Colby Lewis and Derek Holland come back, the Rangers may be in a lot of games like these first two: back-and-forth slugfests and late-inning comebacks in close games. But assuming the offense keeps hitting and the relievers perform well, that could very well be a winning formula going forward to save what had been seen by many as a season potentially lost to injuries before it even got started.