Rangers 6, Rays 1
- Nick Tepesch had a hell of a night, exceeding all reasonable expectations. The line for Tepesch ended up being 7.1 IP, 4 hits, 1 run, 3 walks, and 5 Ks, but that doesn't tell the whole story. Tepesch induced the Rays to hit 16 ground balls against just 2 fly balls. Until the first batter of the 8th inning, every out he recorded was via strikeout or ground out. Tepesch walked 3 batters, but they were all in the second inning, when it appeared he was being somewhat victimized by a tight strike zone. The lone run he allowed was in the third, when Desmond Jennings led off with a double to deep center that Leonys Martin took a bad route on, and which some CF'ers would have caught, and then advanced to third on a ground out before scoring on a ground out. After the Jennings double, Tepesch faced the minimum over the next five innings, allowing just a single to James Loney in the 4th, with Loney being erased on a Yunel Escobar GIDP. Ron Washington allowed Tepesch to start the 8th, and after getting Jose Molina to pop out to right, Tepesch allowed a weak infield single to Kelly Johnson and then a grounded double down the third base line to Jennings, prompting Washington to lift him for reliever Robbie Ross. Ross kept the runners from scoring, keeping Tepesch's line relatively clean.
- I really can't say enough about how Nick Tepesch pitched in his debut performance. Against a playoff-caliber team, Tepesch pitched like a veteran. He threw 104 pitches, 62 of them for strikes, but 43 of those pitches were in the first two innings. Over the final 5.1 innings, Tepesch needed just 61 pitches, working quickly and efficiently. And as advertised, Tepesch appeared calm and composed throughout...if you didn't know who was on the mound, you'd have know idea this was a rookie making his first major league start.
- Jason Frasor pitched a scoreless ninth, his first outing since allowing a pair of homers on April 6 against the Angels. Frasor, prior to today, had not pitched in a Ranger win, and had appeared in both Ranger losses.
- It was a productive night for the bats, with the offense racking up 10 hits and a pair of walks against the Pitcher Formerly Known as Fausto Carmona and a pair of relievers. Lance Berkman continues to do Lance Berkman things, going 3 for 4 and giving the Rangers a lead they'd never relinquish in the 3rd inning with a two run single. Ian Kinsler and Leonys Martin each registered a couple of hits, and Elvis managed to steal second on a Molina despite the Rays pitching out.
- On the down side, Adrian Beltre and David Murphy continue to struggle, with Beltre going 0 for 3 with a walk, and Murphy going 0 for 4, dropping his average to .133. With lefty Matt Moore starting for the Rays tomorrow, and Leonys having a nice game today, I'm curious to see if Murphy gets a day off, with Leonys going to LF and Craig Gentry starting in CF.