Philadelphia Phillies at Texas Rangers
- Philadelphia finished 73-89 in 2013, below .500 for the first time since 2002 (80-81). After a 48-48 first half, the Phillies went 25-41 after the All-Star break, the second-worst mark in the NL (Cubs, 24-45). The 25 wins after the break were the club's fewest in a non-strike-shortened season since 1973 (25).
- Texas has won at least 90 games in each of the last four seasons, tied with Tampa Bay for the longest active streak in MLB. Last season was only the second time in franchise history that the Rangers won at least 90 games and did not make the playoffs (1977, 94 wins).
- Cliff Lee (3.88 K/BB) is one of four pitchers since 1900 to toss 2000+ innings and have a career strikeout-to-walk ratio over 3.80, along with Curt Schilling (4.38), Pedro Martinez (4.15) and Dan Haren (4.08).
- Tanner Scheppers is scheduled to become the first pitcher in MLB history to make his first career start on Opening Day after making 100+ relief appearances in his career. The last pitcher to make his first career start on Opening Day was Fernando Valenzuela for the Dodgers in 1981, and the last AL pitcher to do so was Jim Bagby Jr. for the Red Sox in 1938.
- In 433 career at-bats before 2013, Domonic Brown hit 12 home runs. Brown went on to hit 27 homers in 2013, including 12 in May, becoming the first player in the last 100 years to hit 10+ home runs and walk zero times in a month.
- Adrian Beltre has hit at least 20 doubles in 15 straight seasons, the longest active streak in baseball. He is also the only player in MLB with 30 doubles and 30 home runs in each of the last three seasons.
- Braves fire GM Wren, Hart named interim
- Royals avoid sweep, 1 1-2 back of Tigers
- Pirates beat Brewers 1-0, extend WC lead
- Cards fall to Reds but make playoffs
- Donaldson's HR gets A's past Phils in 10
By ELI KABERON
(AP) -- On opening day, the Philadelphia Phillies did two things well that they struggled to do all spring: hit the ball and score runs.
The visiting Phillies will look for another strong offensive performance Tuesday night when they take on the Texas Rangers in the second of a three-game interleague series.
Philadelphia started the season Monday with a 14-10 win, getting 17 hits - six for extra bases - and going 7 for 17 with runners in scoring position. Jimmy Rollins, who tied Cal Ripken's major league record by starting his 14th consecutive opener at shortstop for the same franchise, hit a grand slam for the 200th home run of his career.
Rollins became the 19th player in major league history with at least 400 doubles, 100 triples and 200 homers.
The Phillies' performance was a surprise after they hit a major league-low .222 in spring training and scored the second-fewest runs with 102.
Ben Revere went 3 for 6 with three RBIs, Chase Utley also had three hits in six at-bats and Cody Asche went 3 for 4 with a homer and four runs.
"J-Roll, with the big pop early, just really set the tone and got things going," manager Ryne Sandberg said. "I think it was contagious after that."
The Rangers will turn to left-hander Martin Perez to try to slow down the Phillies. Perez, who has never faced Philadelphia, was 10-6 with a 3.62 ERA in 20 starts last season.
"I'm going to be ready," Perez said. "I'm going to be good."
Perez will be opposed by A.J. Burnett, who will be pitching for his third team in four years after signing a one-year, $16 million deal with the Phillies.
Burnett, who went 10-11 with a 3.30 ERA for Pittsburgh last season, struggled in the spring with a 6.05 ERA in five starts. The right-hander walked nine in 19 1-3 innings, but he doesn't seem concerned.
"When you get under the lights, it's different," Burnett said. "It'll be OK."
Texas scored seven runs in the first three innings Monday but scored twice and had three hits over the final four.
"Everybody played their hardest, it just didn't work out," first baseman Prince Fielder told the team's official website. "It was just one of those days. It was a lot of fun, it just didn't work out."
Fielder, acquired in an offseason trade with Detroit, was 1 for 5 in his Texas debut. Alex Rios went 3 for 5 with a three-run homer and three runs, and Josh Wilson also drove in three.
Fielder is 4 for 14 (.286) with two home runs against Burnett, who is 3-1 in seven starts in Arlington despite posting a 4.46 ERA. He last pitched there Sept. 11, earning the win after allowing five runs in 6 1-3 innings.
Philadelphia has won seven of 10 all-time meetings with Texas.
Updated March 31, 2014