ARLINGTON (AP) — Joe Nathan took the ball in a tie game in his second appearance for the Texas Rangers. one batter later, they were losing.
Alex Rios led off the top of the ninth with a homer on a 1-2 pitch off Nathan and the Chicago White Sox won 4-3 Saturday night to give new manager Robin Ventura his first victory.
Nathan (0-1), the former Minnesota Twins closer who signed with Texas during the offseason, got career save no. 262 with a perfect inning in the season opener a day earlier. This time, manager Ron Washington brought the right-hander into a tie game.
“I’ve still got to go out and put a zero on the board and hope our team comes out and puts a tally on the board,” Nathan said.
Rios hit a 1-2 pitch that barely cleared the 8-foot wall in center field just out of the reach of leaping Josh Hamilton.
“He’s my closer. There’s no save situation there, (but) I’m saving the game,” Washington said. “He got the ball out over the plate on Rios, and he didn’t miss it.”
Hector Santiago, a 24-year-old rookie left-hander, then needed only 11 pitches to get his first major league save — in only his third career appearance. he worked a perfect ninth against the two-time defending American League champions who had gotten their new rings before the game.
After the game, Santiago tried to give the ball from the final out to his beer-soaked manager who had just won his first game. but Ventura gave it right back.
“To be able to keep that ball is great,” Santiago said.
Matt Thornton (1-0) worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth after coming back from a 3-0 count against Mike Napoli, who grounded into an inning-ending fielder’s choice.
And the White Sox took full advantage with Rios’ big swing.
“I don’t think he meant to put that pitch where he threw it, and I got a good swing on it,” Rios said.
“It was a fastball I tried to elevate higher than it was. I felt if he did take a swing he wouldn’t be able to hit it the way he did. I made him beat me to the deepest part of the park,” Nathan said. “I’ve faced him quite a bit. It’s that cat-and-mouse game, and I lost. he guessed right, I think, and I did miss a little bit.”
Paul Konerko drove in three runs for the White Sox in his 2,000th career game.
Both starting pitchers, Derek Holland and Jake Peavy, struck out five while giving up three runs over six innings.
Peavy, the 2007 NL Cy Young winner, hadn’t started since last Sept. 6. the right-hander was shut down for the rest of the season after going 7-7 in his comeback from shoulder surgery in 2010.
Holland made his first start since getting a new $28.5 million, five-year contract from Texas last month. That deal goes through 2016 and includes two club options after that.
The 25-year-old left-hander finished last season allowing only two hits in 8 1-3 scoreless innings in Game 4 of the World Series against St. Louis at Rangers Ballpark, but the White Sox got on the board in a hurry against Holland.
Alejandro De Aza led off the game with a single, stole second and came home on a two-out single by Konerko.
De Aza reached in the third when Holland was charged with an error after dropping a comebacker, but the speedy center fielder was promptly picked off first base.
Holland walked the next two batters before Konerko’s two-run double made it 3-1.
The Rangers got even in the bottom of the third when Ian Kinsler had a leadoff triple, after De Aza dove for the ball that scooted past his glove toward the wall. Elvis Andrus then had an RBI single, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Adrian Beltre.
Napoli had an RBI single in the second.
NOTES: Konerko has played all but 81 of his games with the White Sox in his 15-year career. … Lefty Matt Harrison, 2-0 with a 3.54 ERA in five career starts against the White Sox, makes his 2012 debut for the Rangers in Sunday’s finale. … RHP Gavin Floyd, who starts for Chicago on Sunday night, allowed only two runs (one earned) and six hits over 14 innings in his two starts against Texas last season. … 1B/OF Brad Hawpe, released by the Rangers late in spring training, has signed a minor league deal with the organization and assigned to Double-A Frisco. he is rebuilding arm strength in a return from left elbow surgery last August.
Darvish not making big deal of Rangers debut
ARLINGTON (AP) — Yu Darvish doesn’t want to make a big deal out of his major league debut with the Texas Rangers. Darvish says he’s trying to stay on an even keel and approach Monday night’s start against Seattle like any other game.
His first start for the two-time defending American League champions comes nearly three months after the Rangers committed more than $107 million to sign Japan’s top pitcher to a five-year contract. That includes his guaranteed $56 million contract.
In a short session with reporters Saturday, Darvish said he’s not at 100 percent season form yet, but is prepared to compete on the major league level.
The 25-year-old Darvish was 93-38 with a 1.99 ERA in 167 games the past seven seasons in Japan’s Pacific League for the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters.
Rangers get second AL championship rings
ARLINGTON (AP) — Rangers manager Ron Washington now has a pair of championship rings.
Texas players and staff were presented their 2011 American League championship rings, 48 in all, before Saturday night’s game against the Chicago White Sox. it is the second year in a row the Rangers had a ring ceremony before the second game of the season.
Even though they lost in seven games to St. Louis last October, after twice being within one strike of a World Series-clinching victory in Game 6, Washington says it doesn’t dampen what the ring represents as AL champion. he says everyone in the organization should feel proud.
Washington won’t wear both rings at the same time. he might put the 2010 AL championship ring back in its box, or switch back and forth.
Other AL Capsules
Fielder, Cabrera power Tigers past Red Sox
DETROIT (AP) — Prince Fielder hit his first two home runs with the Detroit Tigers and Miguel Cabrera added a pair of his own in a 10-0 rout of the Boston Red Sox on Saturday.
Fielder signed a $214 million, nine-year deal with Detroit in the offseason, forming a powerful middle of the order with Cabrera that was on full display against Red Sox starter Josh Beckett (0-1). Cabrera opened the scoring in the first inning with a two-run shot to left-center, and Fielder added a solo homer in the fourth to the same part of the ballpark.
Cabrera and Fielder hit back-to-back solo homers in the fifth.
Duane below (1-0) got the win in relief after Detroit starter Doug Fister left in the fourth with a strain in his left side.
Beckett (0-1) allowed seven runs and seven hits in 4 2-3 innings, and the five homers he gave up equaled a career high.
ROYALS 6, ANGELS 3
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Luke Hochevar took a shutout into the seventh inning and Kansas City got solo homers from Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas against Dan Haren in a victory over the Angels.
Albert Pujols got his first hit with Los Angeles, a double in the fourth.
Hochevar (1-0) was charged with two runs and five hits over 6 1-3 innings in his season debut.
Haren (0-1) gave up five runs and 11 hits over 5 1-3 innings and struck out five.
BLUE JAYS 7, INDIANS 4, 12 INNINGS
CLEVELAND (AP) — Rajai Davis hit a two-run double in the 12th inning, Toronto rallied for the second straight game against Cleveland’s bullpen and the Blue Jays beat the Indians in extra innings again.
Davis’ hit off Tony Sipp (0-1) gave the Blue Jays a 5-3 lead and they held on to win another extra-inning game between the teams, who set a major league record by playing the longest opening-day game in history — a 16-inning marathon Thursday.
Kelly Johnson homered for the Blue Jays and Toronto starter Brandon Morrow allowed one hit in seven innings.
Casey Janssen (1-0) pitched two innings for the win.
RAYS 8, YANKEES 6
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Luke Scott had three hits and drove in three runs in his debut as Tampa Bay’s designated hitter, helping the Rays beat the New York Yankees.
The Yankees trimmed a six-run deficit to two in the ninth, but Fernando Rodney came out of the bullpen to retire A-Rod on a first-pitch grounder.
Left-hander David Price (1-0) allowed two runs and five hits over 6 1-3 innings to win for the first time since Aug. 28.
Matt Joyce hit a solo homer off Hiroki Kuroda (0-1) for the Rays, and added a two-run single against Clay Rapada in the seventh after umpires used instant replay to overturn what initially was ruled a two-run homer for Evan Longoria.
ORIOLES 8, TWINS 2
BALTIMORE (AP) — Tommy Hunter took a four-hitter into the eighth inning, Nick Markakis went 3 for 4 with a homer and Baltimore cruised past Minnesota.
Adam Jones and Matt Wieters also homered for the Orioles, who will seek to complete a three-game sweep on Sunday.
After beating the Twins 4-2 on opening day, the Orioles went up 6-0 against Francisco Liriano (0-1) after four innings and coasted to the finish. Markakis homered in a second straight game, Ronny Paulino got four hits and scored twice in his Baltimore debut and Robert Andino contributed two hits and two RBIs.
Hunter (1-0) gave up six hits and no earned runs in seven-plus innings.
MARINERS 8, ATHLETICS 7
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Chone Figgins finished a home run short of the cycle and every Mariners batter had a hit, backing a shaky start from ace Felix Hernandez to beat the Athletics.
Figgins’ two-run double off Bartolo Colon (1-1) highlighted a six-run fourth-inning — helped by a center fielder Yoenis Cespedes misplaying a ball — to give Seattle a 7-0 lead. Ichiro Suzuki also had two hits and an RBI. the Mariners took the season-opening series 3-1 — the first two games were played in Japan.
Hernandez (1-0) gave up six runs on eight hits in 6 1-3 innings, striking out seven and walking one. Brandon League pitched a scoreless ninth for his second save this season.
Cespedes hit a three-run homer.
Other AL News
Fister headed to DL after left side injury
DETROIT (AP) — Detroit right-hander Doug Fister is heading to the disabled list after he left his first start of the season Saturday with a left side injury.
The Tigers announced after their 10-0 win over Boston that Fister will go on the 15-day DL Sunday, and the team will recall RHP Brayan Villarreal from Triple-A Toledo prior to the game.
The Tigers led 2-0 in the fourth inning Saturday when manager Jim Leyland and trainer Kevin Rand came out to the mound to check on Fister in the middle of an at-bat by Ryan Sweeney. Fister left with a left costochondral strain. Duane below came on in relief.
Fister allowed three hits in 3 2-3 innings. he walked one and struck out three.
Fister went 8-1 down the stretch after being traded to the Tigers from Seattle in a deadline deal last season. he dealt with a sore right middle finger during spring training.
It’s not clear who might take Fister’s place in the rotation. Drew Smyly won a spring training competition to be the fifth starter, beating out below and a few other pitchers.
Twins RHP Hendriks scratched with food poisoning
BALTIMORE (AP) — Minnesota Twins right-hander Liam Hendriks has been scratched from his scheduled start Sunday against the Baltimore Orioles with food poisoning.
Hendriks was admitted to a Baltimore-area hospital on Saturday morning and held for observation, according to manager Ron Gardenhire. Barring further complications, Hendriks will be released Sunday.
Long reliever Anthony Swarzak will start for Hendriks on Sunday, the finale of a three-game, season-opening series. Swarzak, a right-hander, went 2-0 with a 2.93 ERA in six appearances during spring training.
Swarzak is 6-12 with a 5,36 ERA in 23 career starts. he said Saturday that starting is “always a good thing in my eyes.”
Gardenhire says he may have to “ad lib” his rotation if Hendriks is sidelined for an extended period of time.
Yankees’ Pettitte pleased with progress
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — New York Yankees left-hander Andy Pettitte is pleased with his progress and is looking forward to pitching Monday in extended spring training, his second game action since ending a one-year retirement.
Pettitte played catch Saturday, one day after a 45-pitch bullpen session at New York’s minor league complex.
“I’m feeling great,” Pettitte said. “So far, so good.”
Pettitte threw a scoreless inning in the Yankees’ spring training finale Wednesday against the New York Mets. he will face Philadelphia minor leaguers Monday.
Pettitte agreed to a minor-league contract on March 16 and could be ready to join the Yankees in May.
White Sox sign former top pick Wells to minor deal
ARLINGTON (AP) — the Chicago White Sox have signed veteran right-hander Kip Wells, their former no. 1 draft pick, to a minor league deal.
Wells hasn’t pitched in the major leagues since 2009 for Cincinnati, his eighth team over 11 seasons in a career that started with the White Sox from 1999-2001. the deal was announced Saturday, two weeks before Wells’ 35th birthday.
Chicago picked Wells 16th overall in 1998 out of Baylor. he made his major league debut the following year going 4-1 with a 4.04 ERA in seven starts.
His career record is 67-99 with a 4.71 ERA in 289 games for the White Sox, Pittsburgh, Texas, St. Louis, Colorado, Kansas City, Washington and Cincinnati.
Fielder hits first two HRs as a Tigers player
DETROIT (AP) — Prince Fielder has hit his first two home runs as a Detroit Tiger, and Miguel Cabrera has hit two of his own in Saturday’s game against Boston.
Cabrera hit a two-run shot in the first inning off Josh Beckett, and Fielder’s first homer with Detroit was a solo shot in the fourth. the two sluggers then hit consecutive solo homers in the fifth.
Fielder signed a $214 million, nine-year deal to join the Tigers in the offseason, forming a powerful middle of the order with Cabrera that was on full display against the Red Sox. Fielder’s second blast gave Detroit a 7-0 lead.
Longoria’s drive changed to double after review
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Tampa Bay’s Evan Longoria had a seventh-inning home run changed to a double after a video review in Saturday night’s game against the New York Yankees.
Longoria hit an opposite-field drive to right off Clay Rapada that was first called a two-run homer. TV replays showed a fan wearing a Yankees’ jersey reached over the wall and caught the ball with a glove.