The initial Dollar Hot Dog Night of the 2014 season also featured, for the second consecutive game, a walk-off win for the Texas Rangers. Once again, the team fell behind early to the visiting Philadelphia Phillies. Fill-in starter Robbie Ross pitched well, throwing a lot of strikes. But he began to tire early and lasted just five innings, giving up three runs (two earned) and seven hits (including a home run by Ryan Howard) in the process. The offense got off to another slow start as well. Prince Fielder struck out twice and the three hitters behind him combined to leave nine runners on base.
Thankfully for Rangers fans, the bullpen had another very good night, as Sean Tollison, Seth Rosin and Pedro Figueroa combined to throw four scoreless innings to give the offense a chance to win the game at the end. Tollison wound up with the win.
And thanks to the first Jonathan Papelbon meltdown of the season, a chance was all the Rangers needed. Papelbon took the mound for the bottom of the ninth with a two-run lead, but recorded only one out. He allowed six base runners and three earned runs, including a game-tying single to Leonys Martin and the final bases-loaded walk to Shin-Soo Choo.
Overall, this was a game that left everyone wanting more. The fans wanted more hot dogs (this writer’s career-high is six), the Rangers need the offense to start producing early in games and the Phillies need their closer to actually get saves. After an off-day today, the Rangers travel to Florida for a weekend series with the Tampa Bay Rays.