ARLINGTON, Texas — After a night where the Texas Rangers' offense powered the team to a win, the pitching took care of business to get to .500 for the first time this season.
Kyle Gibson (1-0, 7.11 ERA) followed his dreadful Opening Day start with six shutout innings, leading the Rangers to a 2-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. The Rangers won their first series of the season, winning two of three games.
In Gibson's first win of the season, he allowed six hits, walked one, and struck out eight Toronto hitters. Wednesday's outing was also enough to win the Rangers' post-win cowboy hat in the clubhouse.
"[It felt] really good," Gibson said. "It's a cool little thing we've got going here. It's gonna be a lot of fun [throughout the year] for sure."
On Opening Day, Gibson only last 1/3 of an inning and had to carry a 135.00 ERA on his shoulders for five days. The Rangers needed him to rebound in a big way, facing a tough southpaw in Hyun Jin Ryu.
"It was nice to see Gibby get back out there and do what we've expected with all the work this guy has put in," said Rangers manager Chris Woodward. "He looked like the No. 1 today. That's a pretty good offense over there. Six innings, eight punch outs, only the one walk. Obviously much better than his last outing. He set the tone from the very beginning."
Josh Sborz followed with a perfect seventh inning. Matt Bush surrendered a home run to Marcus Semien in the eighth inning, but Ian Kennedy closed out the game with a scoreless ninth inning, recording saves in back-to-back nights.
"Our pitching was outstanding to give us that chance [to win]," said Rangers second baseman Nick Solak.
Ryu caused problems for the Rangers offense with seven strong innings of work. Solak helped the Rangers draw first blood, leading off the second inning with his first home run of the season into the second deck in left field. Leody Taveras followed with a broken-bat RBI single to drive in Jose Trevino, which ended up being the deciding run.
"[That was] a huge hit," Solak said. "He had been scuffling, but to put a ball in play and drive in that second run, we had to take as many runs as he could get, even though it was two, whenever we could get them."
After an off-day on Thursday, the Rangers (3-3) will welcome the San Diego Padres (4-2) to Arlington for a three-game weekend series. The Padres will be without superstar shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., who is on the Injured List with a slight tear of the labrum in his left shoulder.