ARLINGTON – Nick Tepesch didn’t look like a rookie making his first big-league start on Tuesday night.
Instead, Tepesch showed poise and patience and stuff good enough to get the top hitters out in the game. He allowed one run over 7 1/3 innings to lead the Rangers to a 6-1 victory over the Rays on Tuesday night at Rangers Ballpark.
The Rays made Tepesch work the first two innings, as he threw 43 pitches. But he didn’t allow a run until the third when Desmond Jennings led off with a double and scored on a groundout by Ben Zobrist.
That was the only run the Rays would score off the 24-year-old right-hander from Blue Springs, Mo.
Tepesch gave up a leadoff single in the fourth to James Loney, but faced the minimum that inning by inducing an inning-ending double play grounder by Yunel Escobar. That was the start of Tepesch retiring 12 consecutive batters before giving up a one-out infield single followed by a double in the eighth to end his night.
He won his first major-league game by allowing one run on four hits with three walks and five strikeouts.
Robbie Ross worked out the jam in the eighth, and Jason Frasor pitched the ninth.
The Rangers' offense provided enough support. They took a 2-1 lead in the third on a two-out, two-run single by Lance Berkman.
Texas extended its lead to 4-1 with two more runs in the fifth with Elvis Andrus and Adrian Beltre driving in the runs. The Rangers scored twice in the seventh for a 6-1 lead.-- Drew Davison