for this game

Phils, Rangers play rubber match of season-opening set

Apr 2, 2014 - 2:33 PM ( - Left-hander Robbie Ross makes the first start of his big league career on Wednesday night when the Texas Rangers host the Philadelphia Phillies to close out a three-game curtain-raising series at Globe Life Park.

Ross was 10-2 with a 2.62 earned run average in 123 relief outings for the Rangers over the last two seasons, but had been penciled into a slot in the starting rotation before the season by manager Ron Washington.

He's the second Texas pitcher in three games to make his first start, following youngster Tanner Scheppers, who was hit hard in a 14-10 Opening Day loss on Monday. Tuesday's starter, Martin Perez, had made 26 starts in the big leagues and went 5 2/3 innings in his outing.

The Rangers are without ace Yu Darvish at the top of the rotation due to a stiff neck.

Ross, who's never faced the Phillies, has a 2.60 earned run average in 69 1/3 career innings at home.

He'll be opposed by Houston-born right-hander Kyle Kendrick, who reached double-digit wins last season for the fifth time in his major-league career.

The 29-year-old was 10-13 in 30 starts for the Phillies in 2013, after winning 10 games in 2007 and 11 apiece in 2008, 2010 and 2012.

He threw a career-high 182 innings last season and allowed an opposition batting average of .285.

Kendrick has never faced the Rangers.

On Tuesday, Adrian Beltre's line-drive single scored Shin-Soo Choo with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning and the Rangers got their first win of the season by scoring two times against the Philadelphia bullpen for a 3-2 triumph.

A.J. Burnett, in his Phillies debut, left with a lead after six innings and Ryan Howard had an RBI double batting somewhere other than fourth in the order for the first time as a starter in almost six years.

But Beltre's tying two-out double off Jake Diekman in the seventh scored Choo, who later led off the ninth with a walk against Phillies lefty Mario Hollands. Hollands (0-1), in his major league debut, also walked Prince Fielder with one out and Beltre stroked his game-winning hit to right field off B.J. Rosenberg.

This is the first series between these teams since Philly took two of three back in 2011.