9. Opening Day 2000 – vs. Chicago White Sox (W 10-4)
The first decade of the 21st century did not give the Rangers much to cheer about, but they did start it off with a big win over the Chicago White Sox.
Kenny Rogers rejoined the Rangers in 2000 after leaving in 1995 and immediately got to the top of the rotation. He got the nod for opening day starter against the White Sox.
The tone of the game set in early. Gabe Kapler fired a home run to give the Rangers a 1-0 advantage in the second inning.
The White Sox followed in the third by scoring a run off a ground ball that actually resulted in a double play. The score was locked 1-1.
All of that changed the following half inning when Ivan Rodriguez slammed a three-run home run to give the Rangers a 4-1 lead.
Kapler and Rodriguez added another home run each in the 4th and 5th innings, respectively, that added three runs to the Rangers effort.
A great day reached near perfect when Kapler scored yet again in the 5th with a single to centerfield.
Luis Alicea got in the action too with a couple of RBI singles in the 5th and 7th that gave the Rangers a 10-1 lead. It should be noted that both of Alicea’s RBIs were off of errors.
The White Sox pitching was depleted by the end of the day. Mike Sirotka surrendered six earned runs, including four home runs. Him and reliever Tanyon Strurtze started the season with ERAs eclipsing 12.
The worst and most comical ERA, however, came on the Rangers side.
Kenny Rogers put in eight solid innings that day. He only allowed one run off six hits. In the ninth inning, he was replaced by Tim Crabtree.
The first three batters reached base on singles and Crabtree was yanked from the mound. His replacements, Mike Munoz and Jeff Zimmerman, allowed all three runners to score. The runs were charged to Crabtree.
Since Crabtree had only managed one out in his appearance, his ERA was an astounding 81.00.
Interestingly, the first strikeout by a Rangers pitcher came from Jeff Zimmerman on the game’s penultimate batter.