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G72: Rangers take opener against Braves at home, 7-5

The Atlanta Braves come to town. This is I believe their third trip to Texas, and yet the Phillies still haven’t been here. I know Interleague is not an exact science, but I would like to see some other teams besides the same one over and over again like that. Especially when we have realistically only two inbound NL teams. Yeah, yeah – we get three, but one is ALWAYS the Astros, so we have only two from the “rotating pool” of other NL teams.
Vicente Padilla continues to be good this season. This game was yet another in his great 2008 performances. Six innings, two hits, two walks, and two runs allowed, although just one was earned. One of the runs was a solo home run in the sixth – he looked pretty good, although not as crisp and dominating – at least not late. Early on he was, retiring the first 13 batters. Guess that does qualify as dominating, eh? :) The pen almost blew it late, but they did hang on for Pidente’s 9th win of the season.
Offensively, we got started early with an upper tank home run by Josh Hamilton. Was a serious no doubter – Tim Hudson looked like he got whiplash turning around so fast to see where it went. Marlon Byrd also had a home run in the sixth inning that went right into the wedgie. Milton Bradley went 1-2 with two RBI’s before having to come out of the game with a “mild” strain injury. They didn’t seem concerned, but with Bradley, you have to worry. He’s been a great surprise this season, but there’s always his health in the back of one’s mind.
Bradley was the only Ranger with more than one hit. Of the starters, only David Murphy & Michael Young went ofer – everyone else had a lone hit. Two were doubles (Kinsler, Cat), and the rest were singles. But this was all well placed, as we put a four spot on Tim Hudson in the third inning.
Nice to get the win. Although I have to admit I’m getting tired of saying “..back to .500″. I’ve said that way too many times this year. We need a winning streak.