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Thursday a.m. stuff

Okay, things got a little sloppy for a while last night, but an 8-5 win is an 8-5 win.  I'll take it.

Evan Grant says Nelson Cruz has been known for putting on Hamiltonian power displays in batting practice, but it is finally appearing to translate to the games, with Cruz's 2nd homer yesterday making him only the 11th person to have a ball go into the upper deck in left field at TBIA.  Cruz says that an adjustment Scott Servais had him make to his stance in 2007, opening him up more to see the ball batter, has made a world of difference.

Jeff Wilson's game story includes Vicente Padilla saying that his outing was just "so-so," and that he needs to pitch better.  And Jeff Miller also has some quotes from Padilla and from Elvis Andrus, with Andrus explaining how he didn't realize the ball was gone on his first major league homer until he passed second base.

Brett Perryman makes his DMN debut with a blog entry this morning highlighting a few Rangers prospects to be watching at each level of the minor leagues.

Omar Vizquel, Taylor Teagarden, and Andruw Jones are all expected to start in today's game.  Teagarden came in last night for Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who left with what appears to be an ear infection

Brandon McCarthy is ready to go today in his season debut, and Ron Washington says McCarthy is healthy and is throwing the ball well. 

The great performance on Opening Day appears to have had an impact on the fans, as last night's attendance was more than 7000 folks higher than the 2nd home game of the 2008 season -- 6000 tickets were sold between the end of Monday's game and Wednesday afternoon.

Jim Reeves says Nelson Cruz needs to step up this season and be the righthanded middle-of-the-order bat the Rangers have been looking for for the past several years.