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09/01/09 7:46 PM ET
Rangers set tone early in Game 1
Feliz's relief helps home team cruise after starters duel
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers took Game 1 of a doubleheader against the Blue Jays with a 5-2 victory on Tuesday afternoon at the Ballpark in Arlington. Both starters were solid for six innings, but the difference-maker was Rangers reliever Neftali Feliz, who took over in the seventh and retired six straight hitters. Four were by strikeout. He has now struck out 26 batters in 19 2/3 innings since being called up on Aug. 1. Blue Jays starter Marc Rzepcynski turned in his fourth straight quality start, but has just one win in that stretch. He allowed three runs on eight hits and two walks with a career-high nine strikeouts. Rangers starter Dustin Nippert held the Blue Jays to two runs in six innings and is now 5-2 with a 3.91 ERA. Ian Kinsler gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead with a leadoff home run in the first, the seventh time he has done that this season and 12th time in his career. Both are Rangers records. The Blue Jays scratched out an unearned run in the fourth, but the Rangers regained the lead in the bottom of the inning on a walk to Nelson Cruz, a double by Ivan Rodriguez and a two-run single by Chris Davis. Adam Lind hit his 28th home run of the season for the Blue Jays in the sixth, but Cruz delivered a two-run single for the Rangers in the seventh.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.