The Texas Rangers opened 2023 with the kind of result they hope becomes commonplace. Rallying from a huge early hole, the Rangers christened the season Thursday with an 11-7 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies at Globe Life Field.
Texas (1-0) and the Phillies (0-1) are off Friday before resuming the three-game series Saturday.
The Phillies jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead after four innings. Texas ace Jacob deGrom wasn’t sharp and pitched just 3 2/3 innings and gave up five earned runs. An Alec Bohm home run in the second inning and back-to-back triples from Brandon Marsh and Trea Turner helped propel the Phillies to the early lead.
Dalton Guthrie made the opening-day roster as the fifth outfielder but it was only temporary. Pache is out of minor-league options and the Phillies didn’t acquire him to immediately place him on waivers. Guthrie was optioned to Triple A Lehigh Valley shortly after the Phillies’ 11-7 loss to the Rangers and Pache will report by the time of their second game Saturday at 4:05 p.m.
Both are right-handed hitting outfielders who offer more defense than offense. Pache is 24 years old and only a year removed from being a huge piece of the A’s return from Atlanta for Matt Olson. He was the Braves’ top prospect and one of the top prospects in all of baseball as recently as spring training 2021 but he hasn’t hit. In 332 major-league plate appearances, Pache has batted just .156/.205/.234. He’s hit .262 with a .729 OPS in 156 games at Triple A. That’s why he was available.
In Pache, the Phillies see a player with upside who can help right away with his above-average defense and right-handed bat. Brandon Marsh, who doubled and tripled on opening day, is the everyday center fielder. But he’ll need to be spelled occasionally and won’t face every left-handed starter. Jake Cave can also play center but he’s a left-handed hitter and the Phils wanted another righty.
The game also marked the Rangers debut of Bruce Bochy, the three-time World Series champion who was back in the dugout after a three-year retirement for his 26th opener as a manager. He had previously managed 13 seasons with the San Francisco Giants, who clinched their 2010 title in Texas, and 12 seasons with the San Diego Padres.
The Phillies, who last season made it to their first World Series since 2009, took a 5-0 lead when No. 9 hitter Brandon Marsh, the first batter after deGrom departed, had an RBI single off Cole Ragans (1-0).
Ragans, the second of five Rangers pitchers, got his first big league victory even while also giving up a walk while facing only three batters.
Alec Bohm hit a two-run homer in the second inning on a 99 mph fastball from deGrom. Marsh and Trea Turner, in his first game with the Phillies after signing a a $300 million, 11-year deal in free agency, had back-to-back triples in the third before J.T. Realmuto had an RBI double.
Grossman’s homer came immediately after an two-run double by Jonah Heim. The Rangers went ahead 6-5 when, with the bases loaded, Nathaniel Lowe hit a dribbler in front of the plate that turned into an RBI single off reliever Gregory Soto (0-1).
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