On this date in Texas Rangers history, pitcher Cole Hamels made his Opening Day debut with the Rangers, leading them to a 3-2 win over Seattle at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
The game was on April 4, 2016, and Hamels came to Texas the previous season as a trade-deadline acquisition. In 2015, Hamels went 7-1 with a 3.66 ERA as the Rangers fought their way back into the postseason, winning the American League West under manager Jeff Banister, but losing to the Toronto Blue Jays in the American League Division Series.
Hamels faced off against Mariners ace Félix Hernández. Hamels threw seven innings, giving up four hits, two runs, and three walks, while striking out eight. Jake Diekman worked one inning of scoreless relief, while Shawn Tolleson recorded the save for Texas. Hernández took the loss, working six innings and giving up all three runs.
Incredibly, the Rangers won this game with ONE hit, coming from designated hitter Prince Fielder. But both Shin-Soo Choo and Adrián Beltré each drove in a run, as did Fielder.
Fielder’s hit drove in a run. Beltré drove in a run on what should have been a double-play ground ball, but the Mariners misplayed it and that actually proved to be the game-winner. Choo drove in his run on a bases-loaded walk.
Hamels had a fine season for the Rangers, going 15-5 with a 3.32 ERA and 200 strikeouts, while earning a berth in the All-Star Game for the fourth time.
Also on this date …
April 4, 1974: The Rangers begin their first season under manager Billy Martin at home with a 7-2 loss to the defending world champion Oakland Athletics. Jim Bibby took the loss for the Rangers, while infielder Toby Harrah led them at the plate with a 3-for-4 evening. Reggie Jackson homered for the A’s, while also hitting two doubles.
April 4, 1983: The Rangers opened the season at home against the Chicago White Sox, winning 5-3, in front of 13,140 at Arlington Stadium. Infielder Mike Richardt homered off of White Sox starter Lamarr Hoyt, one of four home runs for his entire MLB career. Rangers infielder Buddy Bell drove in two runs. Mike Smithson started the game for the Rangers, but John Butcher took the win with three innings of scoreless relief.
April 4, 1988: The Rangers opened the season at Arlington Stadium, with Charlie Hough taking the victory for Texas in a 4-3 win over Cleveland, in front of 37,613. Outfielder Odibie McDowell and infielder Pete O’Brien each had three hits, with O’Brien homering twice. Hough tossed eight innings and gave up just five hits and three runs, while Mitch Williams came in to get his first save of the season.
April 4, 1989: The Texas Rangers hosted the Detroit Tigers in their home opener and season opener at Arlington Stadium. The game, played in front of 40,375 fans, resulted in a 4-0 Rangers victory. Charlie Hough took the win for the Rangers, while Jack Morris took the loss for the Tigers. That would spark one of the best starts in team history, as the Rangers won 16 of their first 20 games.
April 4, 1994: The Texas Rangers opened the season at Yankee Stadium, where they lost to the Yankees, 5-3. Kevin Brown took the loss for the Rangers, while Jimmy Key took the win for the Yankees.
April 4, 2003: The Rangers opened the home portion of their schedule, losing to Seattle, 6-4, in front of 49,231 at The Ballpark in Arlington. Francisco Cordero took the loss in relief for the Rangers. Hank Blalock had two hits and drove in two runs.
Are we missing a moment from this day in Texas Rangers history? We’re happy to add it. Hit us up on Twitter @PostinsPostcard and let us know what to add.
Like 'Inside The Rangers' on Facebook