06/10/06 11:45 PM ET
Win worth the wait for new Texas reliever
After nearly five-hour rain delay, Corey records first MLB victory
By Mike Petraglia / Special to MLB.com
The Rangers reliever has gone through two four-year waits between Major League appearances, so waiting out a rain delay of 4 hours, 47 minutes is nothing for the 32-year-old pitcher.
Corey, who played three games with Arizona in 1998 and one with the Dodgers in 2002, spotted his fastball brilliantly and struck out all four batters he faced on Saturday while Ian Kinsler overcame two bruised legs to line the go-ahead single just inside the third-base bag in the seventh to lead the Rangers to a 7-4 win at a soggy Fenway Park.
Hank Blalock had another big game against the Red Sox, going 3-for-4 with a two-run insurance homer in the ninth against Keith Foulke. Akinori Otsuka recorded his 11th save with a perfect ninth.
But the feel-good story of the night belonged to Corey (1-0). The right-hander just joined the team on Friday, his first trip back to the Majors since 2002.
With the game tied, 3-3, Corey struck out Alex Gonzalez looking to end the sixth in relief of John Rheinecker before striking out the top of the Red Sox order in the seventh, including David Ortiz.
"It was nice to get in the game and get some of the butterflies out," Corey said. "Obviously, I had some adrenaline going, making my first appearance [with Texas] and my first appearance here [Fenway Park], but I just tried to focus on making my pitches and it worked out."
The reward for his patience and manager Buck Showalter's faith in him was a win, which turned out to be Corey's first in the Majors.
"I have known him a long time from the expansion draft [selected by the Diamondbacks]," said Showalter, who was Arizona's first manager. "It's his first Major League win. He came in and pitched effectively. I was really happy for Bryan. It has been a long road for him."
What made the night that much more special for Corey was the presence of his wife Christine and their 3-year-old daughter, Brooke, in the stands.
"They came up from our home in Mesa [Arizona]," he said. "And then I got the [game] ball from Akinori after the final out. It was just a really special night.
"It's sort of indescribable right now. It makes me feel good to know that he has confidence in me to bring me into the game right now in a tight game. We managed to come back and get the win. I'm kind of at a loss for words right now but it feels good," he said.
The Rangers had a productive day despite a nearly five-hour rain delay.
"We had about four false starts and the last time I went in there and told them what time they were going to start, they all looked at me like, 'Yeah, right!' I was losing a lot of credibility. But I have been here since 8 [a.m.] and that was a real good win for us," Showalter said. "You know, suck it up and get it done when it was nasty out there tonight. It is almost the middle of June and we are in the dugout wearing long johns and turtlenecks."
The delay forced the postponement of the scheduled second game. Both clubs will again attempt a day-night doubleheader Sunday at Fenway Park.
Rheinecker, making just his third big-league start, scattered nine hits and three runs over 5 2/3 innings. He walked three and struck out one.
The long wait made for an anxious day for Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester. The highly touted 22-year-old hurler made his Major League debut against the Rangers, with his parents catching a cross-country flight from Washington for the game.
The Rangers got to Lester for two runs and two hits in the first, highlighted by Mark DeRosa's two-run double to left. But Lester settled down after that, allowing five hits and three runs over 4 1/3 innings. The Rangers worked the lefty all night, forcing him to throw 102 pitches in his first start.
While the Rangers and Corey showed patience Saturday, Kinsler showed toughness in his seventh inning at-bat against Julian Tavarez with the bases loaded in a 3-3 game.
"He was throwing me a lot of tough pitches, sinkers in," said Kinsler, who fouled a ball off his right knee before lining a single between Mike Lowell and the third-base bag. "I fouled the ball of my [left] shin the previous at-bat, so he knew he could get in there and he struck me out on the previous at-bat, so I was definitely looking for that pitch. He ended up throwing me a slider and got me out on my front foot and I was lucky to get a good piece of the bat on it."
Manny Ramirez connected for an opposite-field home run to right leading off the eighth against Francisco Cordero, making it 5-4.
Mike Petraglia is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.