ARLINGTON, Texas -- Phil Nevin was frustrated after being traded to Texas last summer, and it was evident in his performance.
After some time to think about it during the offseason, Nevin said all spring training that he felt different wearing a Rangers jersey. Now he's already proving that on the field.
"Nev's a different guy than last year," manager Buck Showalter said.
"I feel comfortable here. Last year, I wasn't at all," Nevin said. "It was my fault for not handling the trade well."
San Diego traded Nevin to Texas for Chan Ho Park last July, and Nevin hit .182 with only eight RBI in 29 games for the Rangers. In the second game this season, he had five RBI in a game for the first time since August 2004.
"I'm more in the flow of the game," Nevin said. "Last year, it was like pinch-hitting three times."
Winner Vicente Padilla allowed only one run and four hits over six innings in his AL debut. Acquired from Philadelphia in an offseason trade, he struck out five and walked two.
Nevin's homer put the Rangers ahead 4-0 in the first, when the first four batters reached base. Mark Teixeira had an RBI single, and Nevin followed with a drive to left field.
"The first inning, I had big trouble in my location. Everything I tried, every adjustment I made did something different," Wakefield said. "I tried to stop the bleeding as much as I could, then I gave up the three-run homer."
Wakefield allowed seven runs and seven hits with three strikeouts and three walks. After going 16-12 last season when he pitched exclusively as a starter for the first time since 1996, the knuckleballer became only the third Red Sox to pitch in parts of 12 seasons. The others are Roger Clemens and Bob Stanley, who each pitched 13 seasons in Boston.
"Before he could get in a rhythm, he was down four runs," manager Terry Francona said. "He just didn't have command of his pitches."
Brad Wilkerson, the Rangers' new leadoff hitter, was 3-for-5, scored three runs and homered leading off the sixth against DiNardo. Catcher Rod Barajas added a two-run homer in the seventh against David Riske.
Josh Bard had a tough first start for Boston -- three passed balls in the 4 2-3 innings catching Wakefield. That matched the number of passed balls he had in 220 innings as Cleveland's backup last season.
Padilla moved up a day into the No. 2 spot to replace Adam Eaton, out up to three months because of a sprained tendon in the middle finger of his pitching hand.
Eaton had surgery Tuesday in Arizona and the Rangers said after the game that the right-hander could be out four months. He will remain in Arizona for the next six weeks during rehabilitation under the hand specialist that did the surgery.
Manny Ramirez struck out twice against Padilla. The second was on a 94-mph fastball in the sixth inning, and Padilla threw to only one more batter after that.
"He had an explosive fastball tonight," Barajas said. "He was playing with it, taking mph off and add some when he needed them. ... It was real impressive."
New Boston leadoff hitter Coco Crisp had three hits and a stolen base. After his leadoff single in the sixth, he scored on a double by David Ortiz. Those hits sandwiched a spectacular defensive play by All-Star shortstop Michael Young.
Young went deep in the hole toward the third-base line to backhand Mark Loretta's grounder, then threw him out at first on a close play. Boston manager Terry Francona was on the steps of the dugout and looked as if he was going to come out to argue the call, but didn't after seeing the replay on the big screen.
- Young, the reigning AL batting champ, was 0-for-6 this season before a double in the sixth. He was 1-for-13 to end last season, when he hit .331.