ANAHEIM, Calif. -- We've arrived at the games that count. April was a good first month for Texas in terms of record, though they had to deal with an injury to Josh Hamiton. Here's a look at that month:
Timeline: First month of the season (April)
Good start: April 1 – C.J. Wilson beats the Red Sox on Opening Day in front of a sellout crowd at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The 2010 AL Championship flag flies proudly. Mike Napoli keyed the win with a three-run homer.
MVP out: April 12 – Josh Hamilton suffers a hairline fracture of a bone in his upper arm sliding into home plate on a foul pop-up to third in Detroit. It was the first inning of an afternoon affair on the road and Hamilton ends up missing nearly six weeks. The headfirst slide draws conversation nationally about whether that’s a smart way to slide into home plate.
Closer hurt: April 23 – Neftali Feliz is placed on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation.
Solid first month: April 30 – The Rangers beat Oakland 11-2, just their second win in the last six games of the month. They finish April 16-11 and are in first in the AL West by one game. The 16 wins match the 1996 for the third-most in club history.
Other April moments:
April 2: The Rangers get their 2010 AL championship rings before beating the Red Sox.
April 4: Cruz joins Willie Mays (1971) and Mark McGwire (1998) as the only players to homer in the first four games of the season as the Rangers beat the Mariners.
April 6: The Rangers sweep the Mariners to start the season 6-0. They do it with big bats, solid pitching and highlight-reel defense.
April 13: Hamilton apologizes to third-base coach Dave Anderson after the slugger had expressed frustration over being sent to the media. The Rangers were trying to make an aggressive play, but the final decision to go or not rests with the player.
April 17: After two sensational starts, Alexi Ogando struggles as the Rangers drop two of three to the Yankees to finish their first road trip of the season.
April 19: Adrian Beltre makes impressive barehand play against Anaheim, charging for a ball down the line and throwing just as he hit the ground. It was, not surprisingly, an ESPN Web Gem.
April 20: The Rangers lose two of three to the Angels, dropping one game behind them in the AL West. It’s the third straight series loss for Texas after a 9-1 start.
April 30: The Rangers beat Oakland 11-2, just their second win in the last six games of the month. They finish April 16-11 and are in first in the AL West by one game. The 16 wins match the 1996 for the third-most in club history.