ARLINGTON, Texas — It truly was Throwback Thursday for the Texas Rangers against the Colorado Rockies at Globe Life Park.
After a miserable start to the week the Rangers put together an outing their fans had become accustomed to seeing, mixing solid starting pitching, timely hitting and great defense to finally beat the white-hot Rockies 5-0.
"Those are the types of things we’re capable of doing," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "We just weren’t able to have those opportunities in the first three games that we played them. Tonight we created some opportunities and took advantage of it. We did everything â played defense, ran the bases, hit, pitched."
It all started with Matt Harrison, who turned back the clock and collected his first win since Sept. 27, 2012. Harrison, who missed all but two starts last season because of back woes, didn’t allow a run in his 5 1/3 innings of scoreless work.
He benefited from defensive plays behind him from Adrian Beltre, Elvis Andrus and Rougned Odor. He also was able to stay out of a big inning against a Colorado team that had scored 29 games against the Rangers in the first three games this week.
Harrison (1-0) was able to hand the ball to a bullpen that helped complete an American League high seventh shutout this season and hand the Rockies their first of the year in the process. The foursome of Nick Martinez, Aaron Poreda, Jason Frasor and Joakim Soria completed the five hitter.
"It’s a huge team win for us," said Harrison, who allowed three hits, walked four and struck out two. "I tried to keep us in the game from the get go. I felt like I was able to make some pitches and get out of a couple of jams early in the game. I can’t say enough about our defense and our offense putting some runs on the board for us."
Harrison ran into trouble in the second inning when the Rockies loaded the bases with one out. But he got Michael McKenry to hit a grounder to Odor to start an inning-ending double play.
That allowed the Rangers to exhale and the offense followed suit with two runs in the bottom of the second.
Leonys Martin brought in the first run with an RBI single to score Alex Rios. It gave the Rangers their first lead since Adrian Beltre homered in the first inning of Monday’s game at Colorado. Martin came around to score on an error after a steal and the Rangers had the only runs they’d need.
They’d add more though as Prince Fielder hit a majestic homer to right off Franklin Morales in the sixth inning and the Rangers added two more insurance runs in the seventh.
The offense — plus huge pitching from Martinez in relief of Harrison and a double play created by the arm of Rios in right and a tag by Robinson Chirinos put a cap on a high-energy night the Rangers sorely needed.
"Everything just kind of fell the right way," said shortstop Elvis Andrus. "The energy was back. I think for me Harrison was the key for us today. We made those guys throw a lot of pitches. Everybody had a plan and we tried to execute it. When everything’s positive a lot of good things can happen."