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April 23, 2012

Week that was, week that is for Rangers

The Texas Rangers went 8-1 on their first road trip of the season, sweeping Minnesota and Boston and taking three of four at Detroit.

Here's a quick look back on the week, and we'll also look ahead to this week, beginning with Pudge Rodriguez's retirement today.

April 17-18: The Rangers had a brief two-game series at Boston, but the offense left its mark. In an 18-3 victory Tuesday, Mike Napoli homered twice, along with deep shots by Josh Hamilton, Michael Young, Nelson Cruz and Adrian Beltre. Napoli followed his two-homer game by going 3 for 4 with a two-run homer and a two-run double in a 6-3 victory Wednesday.

April 19-22: A rematch of last year's ALCS, the Rangers opened with a 10-3 victory over the Tigers on Thursday. Weather postponed Friday's game, as there was a day-night doubleheader Saturday. The Rangers split the double-header, but the bigger news was Adrian Beltre straining his left hamstring in Game 1. Beltre is scheduled for an MRI today, and has said he doesn't believe the injury is as serious as the one that kept him out more than a month last season. In the series finale, Texas held on for a 3-2 victory with Robbie Ross earning his third victory and Joe Nathan picking up the save.

A look ahead to this week

Today (Monday): Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez will announce his retirement from professional baseball this afternoon. Rodriguez started his 21-year career as a 19-year-old with the Rangers in 1991, and was a mainstay throughout 2002. He won the MVP in 1999, and helped the Rangers make three postseason runs in 1996, 1998 and 1999.

Today-Wednesday: The Rangers open a three-game series against the New York Yankees at Rangers Ballpark. It's Derek Holland vs. CC Sabathia tonight; Yu Darvish vs. Hiroki Kuroda on Tuesday; and Phil Hughes vs. Scott Feldman on Wednesday. Feldman gets the spot start because of the doubleheader the Rangers played on Saturday in Detroit.

Thursday: Off day.

Friday-Sunday: In a rematch of the past two ALDS matchups, the Rangers host the Tampa Bay Rays for three games this weekend. The Rangers went 5-4 last season against the Rays, and have not swept them at home since 2009. Friday night will feature Matt Harrison vs. James Shields. ... There are also notable giveaways on Saturday and Sunday, including an Adrian Beltre bobblehead on Saturday.

-- Drew Davison

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