Rangers 5, Padres 2

Someone finally took advantage of the short right-field wall at
the Alamodome when Leury Garcia lined a three-run homer over the
285-foot sign to lead the Texas Rangers past the San Diego Padres
5-2 on Saturday.

The Rangers swept both games played in the Alamodome, which is
designed primarily for football and special events such as the NCAA
Final Four but had not hosted baseball until this weekend.

A crowd of 40,569 pushed San Antonio’s two-day total to

Texas opens the regular season Sunday night in Houston against a
new AL West rival in the Astros. San Diego travels to New York to
face the Mets on Monday.

Despite the inviting porch down the right-field line, it took
the Rangers 12 innings to clear it for an easy home run. With two
on in the fourth, Garcia hit a line drive off Padres starter Jason
Marquis that took almost no time in barely clearing the 16-foot,
Minneapolis Metrodome-era tarp that served as an outfield wall.

”I just thought about putting the bat on the ball – see and
hit,” Garcia said. ”When I did and saw the ball, I thought,
`Yeah, no, yeah, no.’ It made it.”

Garcia’s drive gave the Rangers a 5-0 lead. Derek Holland got
the win after striking out six and walking none in four scoreless
innings. He allowed four hits.

San Diego’s Chris Denorfia popped one over the tarp in the
eighth, his second home run of the day.

”That’s a good call, to say it’s an Alamodome home run,”
Padres manager Bud Black said. ”But when guys give you a high-five
after you circled the bases in any ballpark, it’s a good

Marquis walked six, including his first three batters. Texas
jumped out to a 2-0 lead on Jeff Baker’s hard-hit single past
second base.

NOTES: Texas informed pitchers Cory Burns and Josh Lindblom that
they will be optioned to Triple-A Round Rock, opening the door for
OF Julio Borbon to return to the big leagues this season. ”I think
the pitching is fine,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said,
referring to his bullpen. ”They all down the stretch threw the
ball well and have done it at the right time. Plus, Borbon earned
his way on this team. Right now, he can give us some speed off the
bench.” … Borbon played in 32 games for the Rangers last year
after appearing in 137 games in 2010. In three major league seasons
he has struck out 96 times and drawn 37 walks. He walked to open
the game Saturday and scored, then struck out his final two trips
to the plate. ”I’m proud of myself,” Borbon said. ”It’s a new
chapter. I’m going in with a different role, trying to do anything
I can to help the team, anything I’m asked to do.” … The
ceremonial first pitch was thrown by Rangers President Nolan Ryan.
… The Rangers stole seven bases without being caught during the
two-game set. San Diego did not manage a steal but was caught
twice. … The Padres hit into five double plays over the weekend,
Texas two. … San Diego hit five home runs during the series
compared to one for Texas.