ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Adrian Beltre had the big hits after Texas manager Ron Washington made the right call on replay twice in a matter of minutes.
Beltre singled home Shin-Soo Choo with the game winner in the ninth inning, drove in his new teammate with a tying double in the seventh, and the Rangers saved a run on a successful replay challenge in a 3-2 victory against the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday night.
”The system worked today,” Beltre said.
It worked with a little help from Washington’s instincts during Philadelphia’s two-run sixth inning.
His first big decision was not to challenge a play at third when Jim Joyce called Cesar Hernandez safe on a sacrifice bunt by Ben Revere. Washington came out to talk to the crew chief but didn’t challenge. Replay showed the call was correct.
Moments later, Revere was called safe at second base by Cory Blaser on a pickoff attempt by Martin Perez. Washington asked for the review, which showed second baseman Donnie Murphy’s glove on Revere’s back as he caught the ball before a diving Revere’s hand was back on the bag.
Revere would have scored on Ryan Howard’s double later in the inning, but instead only Jimmy Rollins came home for a 2-0 lead. Rollins broke the scoreless tie with a single.
”From my vantage point, I thought he had him, really,” Washington said.
So did Murphy.
”I knew that I caught the ball at the same time I was tagging him,” Murphy said. ”I had a gut feeling that he wasn’t at the base yet. I think maybe what happened I blocked out the umpire a little bit just because of how the throw was.”
Choo reached base for the fourth time on a four-pitch walk to start the ninth against Phillies left-hander Mario Hollands (0-1), who was making his major league debut.
After Elvis Andrus’ sacrifice bunt and walk to Prince Fielder on a full count, Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg went to right-hander B.J. Rosenberg. Beltre singled softly to right-center field, scoring Choo without a throw.
”Yeah, that’s a tough spot for him,” Sandberg said of Hollands. ”I thought he showed his stuff actually even though he walked two guys. He threw some effective pitches to Fielder there, might have been one strike away from getting him out.”
New Texas closer Joakim Soria got the win with a perfect ninth inning in his season debut.
Mitch Moreland’s single got the Rangers within 2-1 in the sixth, and Beltre had a tying double with two outs in the seventh to score Choo, who had two singles and was hit by a pitch before his ninth-inning walk.
”It was nice to get that win coming from behind and now the chance to win the series,” Beltre said.
Perez had seven strikeouts through five shutout innings but didn’t make it through the sixth, giving up hits to four of the six batters he faced in the inning.
Howard batted fifth for the Phillies, snapping a streak of 665 straight regular-season starts as the cleanup hitter dating to June 29, 2008, also against the Rangers. He went 1 for 4 with two strikeouts, including one with two runners on in the eighth inning after the Rangers intentionally walked Marlon Byrd.
Philadelphia’s A.J. Burnett left with a 2-1 lead after six innings in the debut for his fifth team covering 16 seasons. The 37-year-old right-hander gave up seven hits with two walks and three strikeouts.
NOTES: Rangers RHP Colby Lewis threw 92 pitches in a minor league exhibition game for Frisco as he continues his comeback from hip surgery. He gave up five runs in 5 1-3 innings. … The Rangers tweeted an apology after a picture circulated from opening day showing dozens of empty beer cans and bottles at the base of a statue honoring Shannon Stone, the firefighter who died in a fall at the Rangers’ home stadium in 2011. The team said the debris was removed ”in a timely manner but it should not have been allowed to be placed there in the first place.