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Jared Walsh homers after watching new teammates get World Series rings as Rangers beat Cubs 11-2

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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Jared Walsh homered in his first at-bat for Texas after watching his new teammates get their World Series rings, and the Rangers beat the Chicago Cubs 11-2 on Saturday night.

Adolis García matched Walsh’s two-run homer in the second inning with a go-ahead shot in the third, and Corey Seager had four singles and two RBIs to help the defending champs to a 2-0 start.

After spending his first five seasons with the Los Angeles Angels, Walsh signed a minor league contract and is helping fill in as Gold Glove first baseman Nathaniel Lowe recovers from a right oblique strain.

After Dansby Swanson’s homer had given the Cubs a 2-0 lead in the second, Walsh pulled the third pitch he saw with the Rangers into the seats above the bullpen in right-center field

Walsh and another Texas newcomer, reliever Kirby Yates, joked about not being jealous as many smiling Rangers pulled their rings out of the boxes after getting them from manager Bruce Bochy in a pregame ceremony.

“I was just a little jealous watching all the ring stuff,” said Walsh, who had three hits and scored three times. “I haven’t played in a playoff game yet, and I’m watching all these guys celebrate with the coolest rings I’ve ever seen.”

All three of Chicago’s hits off left-hander Cody Bradford came in the second. Bradford (1-0), a 26-year-old in his second big league season, finished the second with two of his six strikeouts over five innings and faced the minimum over his final three frames.

Yates was among four Texas relievers to pitch a scoreless inning apiece in a five-hitter, capped by Brock Burke after the Rangers blew open the game with a six-run eighth.

Seager, last year’s World Series MVP, finished his 12th four-hit game as one of five consecutive batters to drive in a run in the eighth against right-hander Ben Brown, who made his major league debut.

Marcus Semien had an RBI single before Seager, then Evan Carter added a run-scoring groundout and García a hit sacrifice fly. Josh Jung’s two-run homer knocked out Brown.

The 24-year-old was recalled from Triple-A Iowa after left-lander Justin Steele went on the injured list. Steele is expected to miss at least a month after straining his left hamstring in his first opening-day start.

“You get knocked down, and you’ve got to get back up,” first-year Cubs manager Craig Counsell said of Brown. “That’s how the game works. It was outing where we were just trying to get through the game and get his feet wet. Some good hitters made him pay.”

Walsh followed his homer by lining a double off the base of the center-field wall in the fourth and came home on Seager’s third consecutive single for a 5-2 lead.

Kyle Hendricks (0-1) gave up five runs and nine hits in 3 2/3 innings.

It didn’t take García long to put his World Series ring on his finger for the cameras during a pregame ceremony. Then the reigning AL Championship Series MVP homered for the second time in two games.

UP NEXT

Cubs LHP Jordan Wicks opens his first full big league season against Texas RHP Jon Gray. Wicks debuted in August and was 4-1 with a 4.41 ERA in seven starts. Gray, who was scratched from an exhibition start Tuesday due to neck stiffness, made a team-high 29 starts last season.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB

By SCHUYLER DIXON
AP Sports Writer

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