Michael Pineda, a 22-year-old right-hander, made his big-league debut Tuesday and showed glimpses of promise.
But the extra-base-heavy Rangers nicked Pineda just enough and the Seattle offense did little enough that Texas moved to 5-0 with a 3-2 win.
Pineda showed none of the nerves that might be expected from a pitcher who was in Class AA at this time last year. He gave Seattle six innings, allowing three runs on five hits and one walk.
The Mariners haven't had a rookie open the season in the rotation since Freddy Garcia did it in 1999.
"He pitched a great ballgame," manager Eric Wedge said of Pineda. "He was poised out there, aggressive and used all of his pitches. He did a great job, particularly for his first outing.
Pineda showed the Rangers a 96 mph fastball and a dandy slider, and the first two times through the lineup, Texas got only three baserunners. But a single just over the infield by Ian Kinsler started the sixth, and Josh Hamilton and Michael Young had RBI doubles to push Pineda into a 3-0 hole.
Pineda wound up throwing 85 pitches (59 strikes) in taking the loss.
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