Historic nine-run fourth inning carries Texas Rangers past Philadelphia Phillies in opener
The Rangers had no hits through the first three innings of their opening-day matchup against the Philadelphia Phillies at Globe Life Field.
It looked like Phillies ace Aaron Nola was en route to a dominant game to start the season.
Then the fourth inning came.
The Rangers put up nine runs in a historic fourth inning en route to the 11-7 win.
It was the most runs the Rangers have scored in one inning in an opening-day game since they scored nine runs against the Seattle Mariners in an inning on April 6, 1992.
The rally started with a single by Corey Seager. Two batters later with the bases loaded, Jonah Heim hit a two-run double that opened the floodgates.The Rangers needed the offensive outburst as starting pitcher Jacob deGrom struggled in his first start, allowing give runs on six hits in 3.2 innings.
DeGrom applauded his offense for picking him up.
“Obviously, I’m not thrilled at how I threw the ball, but the guys did a good job there in the bottom of the fourth with what nine runs and then continued that on,” said deGrom, “It’s huge, there’s times where they pick you up.”
Robbie Grossman had the biggest play of the day when he hit a three-run shot that tied up the game 5-5 and allowed the Rangers to chase Nola from the game.
“Put a decent swing on it and luckily enough I got enough to put it over the fence,” said Grossman, “It was fun. You wait all winter to get back on the field and play a baseball game, a meaningful baseball game and to do it in front of these fans, the fans were great today.”
The Phillies’ next couple of pitchers didn’t fare any better allowing six runs over the next two innings to give the Rangers a commanding 11-6 lead.
The history didn’t stop in the fourth inning either.
Brad Miller became the first Rangers player to hit home runs in consecutive opening days since Ian Kinsler pulled off the feat in 2011 and 2012.
Miller, a former member of the Philadelphia Phillies, went one for four with two RBIs and a home run.
Much of the chatter heading into Opening Day was appropriately about the newly remade pitching staff that could come to dominate the MLB.
However, the Rangers owe their victory to an electric offensive performance.
First baseman Nathaniel Lowe wasn’t surprised that offense came up huge when called upon.
“I’ve been a believer [in the offense] for as long as I’ve been a part of this team, we can score runs,” he said.
The two teams meet again on Saturday afternoon.