Rangers run-it-back on Opening Night, defeating the Cubs 4-3


ARLINGTON — One year ago, the Rangers set the tone for a championship season by not only winning on Opening Day, but also completing a season-opening three-game sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Rangers are trying to get this season started in the same way this season, starting the night by unfurling their first World Championship banner just before playing against the Chicago Cubs.

The Rangers starting rotation was missing some high-profile, high-dollar names in the first half of this season. Max Scherzer, Tyler Mahle and Jacob deGrom are rehabbing injuries.

Jonah Heim hit a game-ending RBI single with two outs in the 10th inning and Adolis García and Travis Jankowski homered for the Rangers.


Jonah Heim walks it off in the 10th inning as the Rangers beat the Cubs 4-3.

Texas moves to 1-0.@CBSNewsTexas | #StraightUpTx #OpeningDay pic.twitter.com/G0MY3TnUm5

— Jett Beachum (@JetthroTV) March 29, 2024

Drew Smyly, the Cubs’ seventh pitcher, walked two to load the bases before Heim lined a sharp hit into right-center field and was mobbed by his teammates.

Jankowski led off the ninth with a tying pinch-hit homer after Chicago went ahead on a disputed play with two outs in the top half of the inning involving All-Star catcher Heim.

Michael Busch scored from second base on what Heim thought was a foul tip — and appeared to be on slow-motion replays, though that kind of play isn’t subject to video review. José Leclerc, who had walked Busch, was charged with a wild pitch.

David Robertson, the veteran reliever Texas signed in free agency, worked the 10th for the win.

Cubs left-hander Justin Steele struck out six in his first career opening-day start before exiting with left hamstring tightness with two outs in the fifth inning. The first-time All-Star last year, when he was 15-6 with a 3.06 ERA, got hurt while fielding a sacrifice bunt.

Nathan Eovaldi, the winner in World Series Game 5 at Arizona last Nov. 1 that clinched Texas’ first championship, allowed two runs over six innings in the opener.

Texas had rookies Wyatt Langford and Evan Carter in the lineup with all six of its All-Stars from last season, including Eovaldi. Carter made his debut at the end of last season, while Langford was the designated hitter and the first Rangers position player to make his MLB debut by starting on opening day since former shortstop Elvis Andrus in 2009.

Langford, the fourth overall pick in last summer’s amateur draft, hit a tying sacrifice fly in the fourth. His first big league hit was an infield single right after Garcia homered in the sixth.

A sellout crowd of 42,130 was the largest ever for a regular-season game at Globe Life Field, which opened in 2020. The only three larger crowds for games came during the playoffs last October.