ARLINGTON, Texas -- It wasn’t pretty, but the Phillies managed to bob, weave and slug their way to 14-10 opening-day victory over the Texas Rangers on Monday afternoon.
Cliff Lee left his A game in Florida. He blew a 6-0 lead, but his mates got him off the hook with an explosion of runs.
After not scoring a run in their final three spring training games, the Phillies’ offense scored their most runs on opening day since 1900. The Phils had 17 hits. Jimmy Rollins (grand slam), Marlon Byrd and Cody Asche all homered. John Mayberry Jr. had an important two-run, pinch-hit double in the fifth and Ben Revere added a big two-run single in the sixth.
The Phillies are 60-70-2 all-time on opening day.
Starting pitching report
After a stellar spring, Lee struggled to keep the ball out of the middle of the plate. He was not able to hold a 6-0 lead, but his offense bailed him out and he left the game up 13-8. After all the times Lee pitched with little run support over the years, the offense owed him one.
Lee hung around for five innings, allowed 11 hits and eight runs. He walked one and struck out one.
During spring training, he gave up just seven runs in 24 2/3 innings. He struck out 26 and walked four.
Texas right-hander Tanner Scheppers allowed eight hits, three walks and seven runs over four innings in his first big-league start. He got the start in place of ace Yu Darvish, who opened the season on the disabled list.
Jake Diekman pitched a scoreless sixth and Antonio Bastardo pitched out of a jam in the seventh and then came back for a 1-2-3 eighth. Jonathan Papelbon got the final three outs.
Texas lefty Pedro Figueroa allowed four runs in 1 2/3 innings and took the loss.
Seth Rosin pitched a scoreless ninth for the Rangers. He pitched in the Phillies' system the last two seasons and was selected in the Rule 5 draft in December.
At the plate
After Lee squandered the lead, the Phillies tied the game on an RBI single by Chase Utley in the fourth. They took a 9-7 lead on a pinch-hit, two-run double by Mayberry in the fifth and extended the lead on Revere’s two-run hit in the sixth.
Revere had three hits and drove in three runs.
Asche singled, doubled, homered and walked.
Rollins’ grand slam highlighted a six-run second inning. It was the 200th homer of his career. He became the 19th player in major-league history to have 400 or more doubles, 100 or more triples and 200 or more homers in a career.
Rollins started his 14th straight opener at shortstop, an NL record. He and Cal Ripken share the major-league record for consecutive opening day starts by a shortstop.
Cole Hamels will pitch in a minor-league game in Clearwater on Tuesday (see story).
A.J. Burnett makes his Phillies’ regular-season debut Tuesday night against Texas lefty Martin Perez.