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whistle, Milan fans grew unruly and began launching
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Guilder Rodriguez played 13 seasons and 1,095 games in the minor leagues before the Texas Rangers called up the 31-year-old switch-hitting infielder earlier this month. Cheap Ray Ban Sunglasses For Sale . Now he has quite a night to remember, one shared with his father from Venezuela who watched him play in the United States for the first time in 10 years. Rodriguez had his first two major league hits, including a tiebreaking RBI single, as the Rangers opened their final homestand with a 4-3 victory over the Houston Astros on Monday night. "This is my second-best moment after seeing my two daughters born," Rodriguez said. "Its unbelievable. I feel great." His first major league RBI came in the seventh, when his two-out single sent home Jake Smolinski and chased Astros starter Nick Tropeano (1-2), a pitcher Rodriguez was familiar with from the minor leagues. Smolinski was hit by a pitch to start the inning. "I think the only word is special for me," interim manager Tim Bogar said. "When he got his first hit, it was hard not to cry looking at his dad. It was pretty special that he got a chance to do it in front of his dad. Then the second hit that gave us the lead, thats kind of storybook for us." Rougned Odor had a three-run triple for Texas, which won for the ninth time in its last 10 games. The Rangers got win No. 63 overall, ensuring that they will avoid their first 100-loss season since 1973. "It puts a big smile on my face, just to know theres no three digits in our loss column," said Bogar, 10-6 since Ron Washington resigned. "But other than that, we know as an organization were not a team thats a 100-loss team. Were not heading in the wrong direction. Its just a little bump in the road for us." Rodriguez made his major league debut two weeks ago, and at the time had the most minor league games for any current player before finally getting to the majors. "Its a thrill. To put in all that time in the minor leagues, and keep playing, and playing, and playing. A lot of guys would have given up," Astros interim manager Tom Lawless said. "Thats the thing about baseball; you never give up. You never know, you might get the chance. Because your dream is a little kid is to play Major League baseball. And there he is." His father arrived from Venezuela on Sunday night, and sat in the second row near the Rangers bench. When his son singled in the third, the elder Rodriguez held both his arms in the air and then wiped tears from his eyes. That was the second of three consecutive Rangers to reach base before Odor tripled into the left-centre field gap. Rodriguez had an error at third base that led to an unearned tying run for Houston in the sixth. But when the Astros intentionally walked Robinson Chirinos ahead of Rodriguez in the seventh, Bogar had no intentions of using a pinch-hitter. "You let it run through your mind because its baseball," Bogar said. "But then you check yourself and youre like, theres no way you can hit for the kid." HOLLAND SOLID AGAIN Derek Holland (2-0) scattered seven hits and allowed three runs, two earned, while pitching through one batter in the eighth. It was the left-handers fifth start since missing the first six months of the season rehabbing from left knee surgery. Roman Mendez finished the eighth before Neftali Feliz pitched the ninth for his 12th save in 13 chances. "I feel like I did my job. The main thing was that I didnt have my best stuff but I went out there and pitched," Holland said. "I made sure to bear down when I needed to." TRAINERS ROOM Astros: Lawless indicated that two relievers -- RHP Josh Fields (right side strain) and LHP Darin Downs (right oblique) likely wont pitch again this season. Rangers: 2B Jurickson Profar, who has missed all season because of a muscle tear in his right shoulder, wont play in the Arizona Fall League as expected after having more problems. Profar was back in Texas to see Rangers team physician Dr. Keith Meister after meeting in the last week with at least two other doctors. UP NEXT The second game of a three-game series between the bottom two teams in the AL West, with left-hander Brett Oberholtzer (5-12) going for the Astros against Texas rookie right-hander Nick Martinez (4-11), who has a 2.74 ERA over his last four starts. Cheap Ray Ban Sunglasses Wholesale . Grilli hasnt pitched since straining his left oblique in late April. Manager Clint Hurdle says the right-hander will make a couple of appearances in middle relief before the team determines whether to return Grilli to the back end of the bullpen. Cheap Ray Ban Sunglasses . - Suspended Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Justin Blackmon has voluntarily checked into a treatment facility and seems to be doing well. http://www.cheaprayban.net/ . Hes still nowhere close to throwing yet. The four-time MVP was in good spirits when he made his first public appearance on the field since having neck surgery Sept. ROME -- Luca Toni scored twice as Hellas Verona beat AC Milan 2-1 Saturday to celebrate its return to Serie A after an 11-year absence as the Italian league opened with a shock. It was more to form, meanwhile, as Juventus kicked off its bid for a third consecutive title with Carlos Tevez scoring in the 58th minute of a 1-0 win at Sampdoria, which beat the Bianconeri in both league meetings last season. Juve didnt quite dominate like in its 4-0 rout of Lazio in last weekends Super Cup but Antonio Contes men showed the same poise and discipline of the past two seasons. Tevez, Juves big off-season acquisition from Manchester City, only had to tap in after taking a pass from Paul Pogba at the edge of the box on a rainy night at the Juventus Stadium. At the other end, Juves corp of quality defenders -- Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini -- cleared any danger. It was a different story in Verona, where Andrea Poli put Milan ahead in the 14th minute following a pass from Mario Balotelli before the 1.96-meter (6-foot-5) Toni struck back with headers in the 30th and 53rd. "Theres no better way to start the season," Verona midfielder Massimo Donati said. It was a disturbing result for Milan ahead of Wednesdays return-leg match with PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League playoffs. Milan also gave up a lead in the opening leg, drawing 1-1. Last season, Milan never lost in Serie A after establishing a lead, winning 21 matches and drawing four. "The explanation is simple: we played bad football and we played poorly as a squad," Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri said. "We needed to control the ball better. We played poorly and they deserved the victory. "We need to play with more nastiness and more attentively," Allegri added. "After we scored we stopped playing. Even though hes 36, Toni fought like a lion." The other eight matches of the opening weekend will be played Sunday, with last years runner-up Napoli hosting Bologna and Inter Milan facing Genoa at the San Siro. Also, Lazio opens against Udinese with one end of its stadium closed as punishment for fan racism in the Super Cup. There were concerns that Verona fans might direct racist chants at Balotelli but, with the issue discussed widely before the match, supporters responded by applauding him instead whenever he touched the ball -- albeit likely in an ironic manner. "The fans offered a great response," Donnati said. Cheap Ray Ban Sunglasses China. After the final whistle, Milan fans grew unruly and began launching seats over a barrier at Verona supporters. Verona won its only Serie A title in 1985 and has had the dishonour of watching neighbour Chievo Verona play in the top division for much of the last decade while it toiled in Serie B. But a second-place result in Serie B last season earned Verona promotion and the signing of Toni in July to a one-year contract has already proved wise even though Daniele Cacia led the second division with 24 goals in 2012-13. The 36-year-old Toni also scored on his debut when Verona beat Palermo 1-0 in the Italian Cup last weekend. "Hes decisive on dead balls and hes a decisive player for us," Verona coach Andrea Mandorlini said of Toni, who formerly played for Palermo, Fiorentina and Bayern Munich and was a member of the Italy squad that won the 2006 World Cup. Balotelli had Milans first chance nine minutes in with a shot from beyond the area that was blocked by goalkeeper Rafael. Balotelli might have done better by passing the ball to one of two teammates striding toward the goal and he was wise to pass to Poli five minutes later to set up a goal. After collecting the pass, Poli dribbled in between two defenders and slotted the ball past Rafael. After struggling in the opening 20 minutes, Verona began to assert itself more as the half wore on and Toni took advantage when Milans defence lost track of him during a corner kick as the hosts equalized. Toni also had a chance in the 36th with a bouncing shot that Milan goalkeeper Christian Abbiati couldnt control but a defender cleared the danger. Still, it was Verona that came out in attack mode to start the second half and Abbiati had to leap high to tip over the bar a header from Bosko Jankovic in the 51st. Two minutes later, Toni put Verona ahead with a header from the edge of the box as he leaped over defender Cristian Zapata for his 111th career goal in Serie A. And in the 62nd, Abbiati had to punch away a dangerous cross to prevent Toni from doing any more damage. Toni exited to a standing ovation when he was replaced by Cacia in the 85th. Cacia nearly made it 3-1 in the 89th but Abbiati was able to stop the attempt. Balotelli grew frustrated and drew a yellow card for protests in the 90th. There was also a last-minute card in Genoa, as Sampdoria defender Paolo Castellini was shown red for a hard foul on Stephan Lichtsteiner. ' ' '
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