ARLINGTON -- The Rangers admit it was a strange rally, especially considering Mariners starter Felix Hernandez had a no-hitter going into the bottom of the fifth.
Hernandez lost the no-hitter on a one-out bloop single by Prince Fielder. He also lost the lead on the bloop single, three walks and two errors over an unusual inning that ended with Hernandez striking out two straight hitters with the bases loaded. But the Rangers were able to hold on from there for a 3-2 Opening Day victory over the Mariners on Monday afternoon. It was the first time the Mariners have lost a game in franchise history when they've allowed one or fewer hits and just the second time the Rangers have won a game in which they had just one hit.
"Great job by our offense to get just one hit and still get enough runs to win," third baseman Adrian Beltre said.
"Sometimes you just have to find a way to get it done," Fielder said.
The Rangers trailed, 2-0, when Rougned Odor led off the inning with a walk and immediately stole second. Elvis Andrus then hit a chopper to the left side and Odor broke for third. Third baseman Kyle Seager went for the play but had it tick off his glove for an error as he appeared distracted by Odor.
That put runners at the corners, and the Rangers went with a safety squeeze. Robinson Chirinos, with Andrus running on the pitch, got the bunt down but straight back to Hernandez. Odor, reading the bunt correctly, stayed at third, and Hernandez went to first for the out.
"If the bunt had been a little bit more toward first base, I would have scored," Odor said.
That left runners at second and third. Hernandez then walked Delino DeShields and Shin-Soo Choo to force in a run. Hernandez ended up walking five in six innings.
"That's not good," Hernandez said. "That's not me. I was rushing to the plate and opening my front side and that's why I was missing a lot of pitches."
That brought up Fielder, and he lofted a high pop to shallow left that fell in front of Norichika Aoki for the Rangers' only hit of the game. It also brought home the tying run while leaving the bases loaded.
"Yeah, I went up there looking to just dump one over the infield," Fielder joked afterward. "I moved my body in one direction to hit the ball in the other direction. That's just good hitting."
Beltre followed with a grounder right at shortstop Ketel Marte, who fumbled the ball for an error that allowed the go-ahead run to score.
"Everybody just stayed with the same approach," DeShields said. "We just had quality at-bats and made him throw pitches."
"Just the one inning, it got away from him a little bit," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "We didn't help Felix out and play our best defense that inning. Give credit to them. They worked away and found that way to score a few runs."