On this date in Texas Rangers history, the Rangers played one-game sets to open the season six years apart.
The date, April 7, featured the Rangers playing a one-game home series against the Chicago White Sox in 1973. Six years later, on the same date, the Rangers again played a one-game set, this time on the road at Detroit.
In 1973, the Rangers were starting their second season at their new home at Arlington Stadium. The Rangers had a new manager in Whitey Herzog, and the Rangers opened the season with future pitching coach Dick Bosman on the hill for Opening Day.
It was a low-scoring game, with the White Sox winning, 3-1, on single runs scored in the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings. Bosman gave up all three runs, but only two were earned. Steve Foucault and Jim Merritt came on in relief. Wilbur Wood pitched a complete game for the White Sox, giving up just four hits and the Rangers’ lone run, which came in the sixth inning.
Shortstop Toby Harrah, designated hitter Rico Carty, left fielder Alex Johnson, and third baseman Joe Lovitto collected the hits for the Rangers. But Mike Epstein, who went 0-for-4, drove in the only run, which Dave Nelson scored.
The Rangers went on the road for three games at Kansas City, followed by another single home game against California on April 13. The Rangers then went on a road trip to Chicago and Minnesota, and then finally played a six-game set at home with Detroit and Minnesota, starting on April 24.
The Rangers finished 57-105 that season and had three managers ‚ Herzog, Del Wilber (one game) and Billy Martin.
Then, in 1979, the Rangers did the one-game set thing again, this time at old Tiger Stadium. This time the Rangers won, 8-2, with Ferguson Jenkins throwing a complete game seven-hitter, allowing two runs and two walks. He also struck out five. Dave Rozema, a future Ranger, started for Detroit and threw just four innings, giving up five runs (two earned), and two walks.
Rangers outfielder Johnny Grubb homered and drove in two runs, while outfielder Al Oliver made his Rangers debut by driving in two runs. Second baseman Bump Wills was the only Ranger in the game with two hits.
Texas had a two-day break to return home and prepare for its home opener against Cleveland on April 10. The Rangers hosted a six-game set, with the Tigers coming to Arlington for three games on April 13-15. This Rangers team, with Pat Corrales at the helm, went 83-79 and finished third in the American League West.
Also on this date …
April 7, 1977: The Rangers opened the season on the road and beat the Baltimore Orioles, 2-1, in 10 innings. Bert Blyleven took the win for the Rangers, with Bump Wills and Jim Sundberg driving in the two runs. Future Hall of Famer Jim Palmer took the loss for the Orioles.
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