ARLINGTON (AP) – Ian Kinsler hit a go-ahead single with two outs in the eighth inning and the Texas Rangers gave their fans plenty of reasons to cheer in the home opener, beating Josh Hamilton and the Los Angeles Angels 3-2 Friday.
Hamilton was a five-time All-Star and the 2010 AL MVP while with Texas before going to the AL West-rival Angels with a $125 million, five-year contract over the winter. He finished 0 for 4 — he was booed when he was introduced, then cheered when he struck out twice.
Kinsler’s sharp single to right was fielded by Hamilton, who short-hopped a throw to the plate as speedy Craig Gentry slid home for the tie-breaking run.
Tanner Scheppers (1-0) pitched an inning in relief of starter Derek Holland. Joe Nathan worked the ninth for his first save, an inning that started with him retiring Albert Pujols and Hamilton on fly balls. Gentry reached with a one-out single in the eighth off Scott Downs (0-2), the fourth Angels pitcher, and stole second base. After pinch-hitter Jeff Baker struck out, Kinsler put the Rangers ahead. It was the fifth home opener in a row in which Kinsler got a hit and drove in a run.
Hamilton, now 1 for 16 this season, was booed during pregame introductions and when he came to bat each time. Those boos became cheers when took a strike on the first pitch in the second inning, and the sellout crowd of 48,845 erupted when he struck out swinging. After striking out again in the fourth, Hamilton lined out in the sixth and flied out in the ninth. Chris Iannetta homered and scored both runs for the Angels, who have lost three in a row since a season-opening victory at Cincinnati — Hamilton’s other former major league team.
Adrian Beltre homered in the seventh for Texas, which has won three in a row since dropping the season opener at Houston. Nelson Cruz and A.J. Pierzynski each had three hits.
Holland, who pitched for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic, allowed two runs over seven innings. The left-hander struck out five and walked one.
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