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Texas at Seattle

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Texas (0-1)100000010271
Seattle (1-0) «00000230x561

Bedard solid, Mariners' offense wakes up late to down Rangers

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SEATTLE -- Erik Bedard had a wild beginning with the Seattle Mariners.

The new ace fanned Ian Kinsler on three pitches to open his career with the Mariners, the last a wicked curve. Then he gave up a homer to Michael Young and struggled to throw strikes.

But Adrian Beltre hit a go-ahead groundout in the sixth inning, Jose Lopez had a two-run double in the seventh and Seattle beat the Texas Rangers 5-2 in Monday's opener.

"First game of the year. Everybody's excited, a lot of hype. I just try to keep all that to a minimum," Bedard said after allowing three hits and a run in five innings. "It's nice to get off on the right step and get the first one out of the way."

Acquired to anchor a rotation that already included Felix Hernandez, Miguel Batista, Carlos Silva and Jarrod Washburn, Bedard got a standing ovation from the largest opening-day crowd in Safeco Field history after striking out Kinsler. It was love at first strike.

"I didn't notice," Bedard said.

Bedard went to full counts on 10 of the first 18 batters. The AL strikeout leader fanned five, but he also walked four, one short of his career high.

"At one time, Erik's pitch count was almost double what (Kevin) Millwood's was. That was definitely concerning," Mariners manager John McLaren said. "But he gave us a chance to win the game."

The Mariners struggled for five innings against Millwood, who made his third consecutive opening-day start to tie a Texas record shared by Nolan Ryan and Charlie Hough.

Wearing short-sleeves, as always, while snow fell onto Safeco Field's closed roof and a chilling wind blew inside, Millwood allowed only three hits and one runner past first base through five innings. But Ichiro Suzuki sliced a wicked liner off the glove of Young at shortstop for an error leading off the sixth.

"He hit it hard, but it's a play I'd like to have back, for sure," Young said. "If he doesn't get on, the inning might have a different look to it."

Suzuki then broke to steal second base -- "I was cold," Suzuki explained -- while Lopez got jammed on an inside pitch but squibbed a soft roller to the spot Ian Kinsler vacated to cover the steal attempt.

"My hands got lucky," Lopez said.

Raul Ibanez then got a base hit, which scored Suzuki to tie the game at 1.

With Lopez at third and one out, Beltre hit a two-hopper that third baseman Hank Blalock tried to turn into an inning-ending double play. But Beltre beat Kinsler's relay throw to first by a step. Beltre flashed his own safe sign while crossing the bag as Lopez scored the go-ahead run.

"I was hoping he could turn it," Millwood said. "But he did a good job hustling down the line."

McLaren has challenged Suzuki to steal 80 bases this season, which would be 24 more than the perennial All-Star's career high from 2001. Suzuki scoffs at the goal, but he did acknowledge the affect he had on the outcome by running in the sixth.

"When I got on base, things happened," Suzuki said through his interpreter. "I recognize what influence it has when I get on base. I'd like to carry that through the season."

Lopez hit a clinching, two-run double off in the seventh off Kazuo Fukumori, who was making his major league debut.

Sean Green (1-0) allowed two hits in 1 2/3 innings behind Bedard. J.J. Putz, who saved 40 games and was an All-Star last season, got his first save with a scoreless ninth.

Millwood allowed only four singles and two unearned runs in six innings. He struck out four and walked three.

Milton Bradley returned from a season-ending knee injury he sustained when he was spun to the ground by San Diego manager Bud Black during an argument with umpire Mike Winters on the final weekend of last season.

Bradley walked to first base after appearing to get hit on the top of the right foot by a pitch from Bedard in the third. But plate umpire Jim Joyce called back Bradley, ruling the pitch did not hit him. Bradley limped back and walked on the next pitch -- and then flipped his bat halfway to the third-base coaching box. Joyce warned manager Ron Washington to settle Bradley, who stayed calm.

Note

  • Kinsler was originally scratched from his third opening day start because he showed up to the clubhouse with what Washington called flu-like symptoms. But antibiotics and fluids allowed Kinsler to go 1-for-5, with three strikeouts.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Erik Bedard gives up one run in five innings as he labors a bit against the Rangers' lineup.  (AP)
Erik Bedard gives up one run in five innings as he labors a bit against the Rangers' lineup. (AP)

Players of the Game
Texas

M. Young
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 1
Seattle

J. Lopez
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
 
Texas Rangers
Ian Kinsler, 2B5010031 .200
Michael Young, SS5131010 .600
Josh Hamilton, CF4010113 .250
Hank Blalock, 3B2100101 .000
Milton Bradley, DH2000211 .000
Marlon Byrd, RF4000014 .000
David Murphy, LF4021000 .500
Gerald Laird, C3000102 .000
Ben Broussard, 1B4000031 .000
Totals33272510  
Batting
HR - Michael Young (1, Bedard)
RBI - Michael Young (1), David Murphy (1)
2-OUT RBI - David Murphy (1)
CS - Milton Bradley (1, 2nd base by Green/Johjima)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Kinsler-Young-Broussard
E - Michael Young (1, Misplayed grounder)
Texas Rangers
Kevin Millwood (L,0-1) 6420340 0.00
Kazuo Fukumori 0.1233200 81.00
Franklyn German 1.2000210 0.00
IBB - Suzuki by Kazuo Fukumori
WP - Kazuo Fukumori 2 (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Kevin Millwood 91-60, Kazuo Fukumori 21-8, Franklyn German 26-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kevin Millwood 7-6, Kazuo Fukumori 1-0, Franklyn German 1-2
Batters Faced - Kevin Millwood 24, Kazuo Fukumori 5, Franklyn German 6
Seattle Mariners
Ichiro Suzuki, CF3200100 .000
Jose Lopez, 2B4122000 .500
Raul Ibanez, LF4011000 .250
Richie Sexson, 1B3000112 .000
Adrian Beltre, 3B4021010 .500
Brad Wilkerson, RF2000213 .000
Jose Vidro, DH3000113 .000
Kenji Johjima, C2100204 .000
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS3110011 .333
Totals2856475  
Batting
2B - Jose Lopez (1, Fukumori)
RBI - Jose Lopez 2 (2), Raul Ibanez (1), Adrian Beltre (1)
CS - Jose Lopez (1, 3rd base by German/Laird), Adrian Beltre (1, 2nd base by Millwood/Laird)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
E - Yuniesky Betancourt (1, Throwing)
Seattle Mariners
Erik Bedard 5311451 1.80
Sean Green (W,1-0) 1.2200120 0.00
Eric O'Flaherty (H,1) 1111010 9.00
Mark Lowe (H,1) 0.1000000 0.00
J.J. Putz (S,1) 1100020 0.00
HBP - Blalock (by Eric O'Flaherty)
Pitches-Strikes - Erik Bedard 106-59, Sean Green 37-22, Eric O'Flaherty 17-11, J.J. Putz 19-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Erik Bedard 8-2, Sean Green 1-1, Eric O'Flaherty 1-1, Mark Lowe 1-0
Batters Faced - Erik Bedard 22, Sean Green 7, Eric O'Flaherty 5, Mark Lowe 1, J.J. Putz 4
Game Information
Attendance - 46334
Game Time - 3:12
Temperature - 50
Umpires - Home - Jim Joyce, First Base - Jeff Nelson, Second Base - Mark Carlson, Third Base - Tim Tschida