ARLINGTON -- Alexi Ogando struck out the side in the seventh inning on Friday and needed just 14 pitches to do it. But, with the Rangers leading the White Sox by one run, Washington went right with Mike Adams to pitch the eighth inning.
The move reinforced Washington's desire for Adams to be his eighth-innning reliever rather than sticking with the hot hand.
"I was going with Mike Adams, that's his job," Washington said. "The first game of the season, that's his job. Yesterday was the perfect day for the way we have our bullpen set up."
In Game 6 of the World Series last year, Washington stayed with the hot hand. Derek Holland had retired four straight hitters going into the eighth inning and left him in to pitch. Holland, with a 7-4 lead, gave up a one-out home run to the Cardinals' Allen Craig and a two-out single before Adams came in to pitch.
"I know my role coming into the season," Adams said. "There wasn't any question about it and I'm comfortable with it. I think we all know our roles in the bullpen, and it's going to make guys better. You're able to mentally prepare."
Ogando was the first pitcher in Rangers history to face three batters on Opening Day and strike out all three. He is the first Major League pitcher to do that on Opening Day since Mariano Rivera for the Yankees on April 2, 2007, against the Rays.