MIAMI (AP) -- The Texas Rangers ended their longest losing streak
of the season thanks to two pitchers making their season debuts.
Ricardo Rodriguez pitched five effective innings and John Wasdin
earned a four-inning save to help the Rangers snap a five-game
losing streak with a 6-2 victory over the Florida Marlins.
Richard Hidalgo's two-run homer in the eighth provided insurance
Both Rodriguez and Wasdin joined the Rangers hours before the
game. Rodriguez (1-0), recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma, allowed two
runs and seven hits, walked one and struck out five. He also had
his first career hit and first career RBI.
"I wasn't nervous, I was excited. I had nice adrenaline," said
Rodriguez, who has a 9-12 career record. "But after, that I had to
calm myself down. That's the only way I could keep myself in the
game as long as possible."
Wasdin, whose contract was purchased from Oklahoma earlier
Sunday, got his fourth career save -- first since July 16, 2000,
against Montreal while he with Boston.
"I was down in Oklahoma, still getting my job done, trying to
be the best Triple-A pitcher I could be," said Wasdin, who took a
6 a.m. flight from New Orleans and arrive at Dolphins Stadium about
four hours before gametime. "I didn't moan or groan when
transactions happened, I just did my job."
Brian Moehler (2-4) gave up four runs, seven hits and three
walks -- one intentional -- and struck out a season-high seven for
the Marlins, who have lost 13 of 18. Moehler dropped to 0-3 at home
despite a 2.33 ERA.
"We're in good shape, this is a long season," Marlins manager
Jack McKeon said. "August and September is when the cream comes to
Hidalgo's two-run shot off Guillermo Mota in the eighth made it
6-2. Hidalgo has 12 homers on the season, including eight of his
last 17 hits overall.
"We knew we couldn't lose a sixth game in a row," Hidalgo
said. "Our pitching did the job today."
Texas went ahead 1-0 in the first on Hank Blalock's two-out
Rodriguez's first career hit and first career RBI capped a
two-run fourth that gave Texas a 3-2 lead. Blalock led off by
reaching on an infield single when first baseman Carlos Delgado
made a nice diving stop but Moehler was late covering the bag.
"I just got a late first step," Moehler said. "My fault.
That's all it takes for him to beat it out."
Alfonso Soriano then doubled to deep right-center field, putting
runners on second and third. After Laynce Nix's ground out scored
Blalock, Rodriguez slapped a single to left for his first hit in
seven career at-bats.
"All our pitchers did a great job swinging the bat in the whole
interleague series," Rangers manager Buck Showalter said. "But I
would not hold my breath that would continue with Ricardo."
Umpire Troy Fullwood filled in for crew chief Randy Marsh,
who missed his second straight game because of a family medical
emergency. Fullwood worked second base. ... Before the game, the
Rangers placed right-hander Joaquin Benoit (elbow tendinitis) on
the 15-day disabled, and designated outfielder Andres Torres for
assignment. ... Texas' Mark Teixeira was 1-for-15 in the series.
... Marlins pinch hitter Paul Lo Duca was ejected in the ninth
after arguing a called third strike.