G113: Rangers beat Tigers, 7-2

Joaquin Benoit went a long way to helping his own cause last night by pitching 7.1 innings, giving up 8 hits, but only two runs (with 2 BB & 6 K’s). He looked really good, but unfortunately, so did Mark Redmond of the Tigers. They both pitched well, and the scoring was deadlocked at 2-2 after the fourth, and it stayed that way for another 7 innings. Benoit had a bit of the Ismael Valdes curse of not getting any real run support, otherwise Benoit would get the win – he deserved it. Our bullpen kept it at 2 for Detroit, with Rodriguez, Cordero, & Kolb pitching a total of 3.2 innings of scoreless relief. Between the three of them, they only gave up one hit (Cordero).
We stayed tied into extra innings, which is usually a nightmare for us, but we put up 5 on the scoreboard in the top of the 11th – it started on a miscue by Robert Fick in right field, allowing two to score. Was nice to see some extra inning runs. Would have been even better to see them earlier, so Benoit could have gotten the win.
Anyway, the story of the night for me was Travis Hafner. Travis (who REALLY looks like Mike Morgan) made his major league first start (he came in late as a PH the previous night), and struck out early – but delivered after that. His first major league hit was an RBI triple – and then he almost got his first home run, too. He looked like a big kid, with almost McGwire-ish (or Kaplerish) muscles, but didn’t seem like the kind that would raise eyebrows over steroids or something like that. I know he comes very highly touted, and it’s nice to see him get going in his first start.
Was also nice to see us beat the Tigers in Detroit, something we haven’t done in quite awhile, unfortunately. Anybody else notice that the two games in Detroit had really quick game times?
Additional game commentary here.