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Notes, Quotes

The Sports Xchange
Roster Report · Notes, Quotes · Off the bat, Murphy makes his case for increased role

--2B Ian Kinsler gave Texas its first run of the season with its first swing. Kinsler's leadoff homer in the first marked only the second time in Rangers history a player led off the first inning of the team's first game with a homer. Oddibe McDowell did in 1987. Kinsler has 14 leadoff homers in his career.

--RF Nelson Cruz homered on Opening Day for the second consecutive season. He tied the game at 2 in the second inning with a solo homer Friday. Last year, his three-run homer in the seventh erased a 3-0 deficit against Toronto.

--Manager Ron Washington had said he would likely use Darren O'Day as his primary right-handed setup man to start the season, but when the time came Friday, the Rangers opted to go to LHP Darren Oliver in the eighth. The Rangers had Oliver face right-handed Kevin Youkilis before encountering a pair of lefties, Adrian Gonzalez and David Ortiz. Ortiz hit a game-tying homer off Oliver with two outs. Ortiz had been 2-for-12 against Oliver in his career. O'Day had a rough spring, so the Rangers may be looking for an easier opportunity for him to make his 2011 debut.

--1B Mike Napoli hit a three-run homer in his second at-bat of the game. Napoli is now 5-for-9 in his career against Boston LHP Jon Lester.

--INF Marcus Lemon was traded to Atlanta for a player to be named. Lemon, who turns 23 in June, received a $1 million signing bonus after he was a fourth-round pick in 2006. The son of former major leaguer Chet Lemon, Marcus Lemon got the big bonus to pass up on a scholarship offer to the University of Texas. He stalled out, however, at Class AA and had been reduced to a utility role.

3 -- Consecutive Opening Day wins for the Rangers. It matches the second-longest Opening Day winning streak in club history (1988-90). The Rangers won the opener five straight years from 1976-80.

"This is who we are. We've always been this way. We have a 'never say die' attitude. We'll figure out a way to get you eventually, and if we don't, you've done a pretty good job that day." -- OF Josh Hamilton, on the resilience of the Rangers, a trademark of the 2010 team that seemed to carry over to the 2011 opener.

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