(CBS DALLAS)- The Rangers (7-7) take on the Los Angeles Angels (8-7) tonight at 7:05 PM in Arlington with their eyes on getting back over .500 following a split with the Athletics (10-9) over the weekend. While a win tonight would get the Rangers into the green on the season, it would also push them over the .500 mark all-time on Jackie Robinson Day as they’ve gone an even 7-7 since Major League Baseball began the annual tradition in 2004.
Jackie Robinson Day, of course, is a league-wide holiday honoring the man who broke down baseball’s color barrier by taking the field as a Brooklyn Dodger in 1947. The day is observed across baseball today with ceremonies of remembrance as well as all uniformed on field personnel donning Robinson’s iconic number 42.
The Rangers most outstanding Jackie Robinson Day performance came in 2009 courtesy of a 19-6 trouncing of the Baltimore Orioles at home. Former Texas second basemen Ian Kinsler had a career day going six for six out of the lead off spot while driving in four runs and scoring five himself. Marlon Byrd and Nelson Cruz also got in on the act as Byrd went five for six and Cruz notched a team high six RBIs on the day. Kris Benson picked up his first win of the season while allowing four runs over six innings.
This year’s Rangers squad would love to duplicate the 2009 edition’s Jackie Robinson Day success as they try to climb out of the AL West basement against a divisional opponent. Shelby Miller (0-1 9.53 ERA) will get the ball from Manager Chris Woodward to start things off tonight and will be opposed by LA’s Trevor Cahill. Cahill (1-1 3.50 ERA) is 5-1 with a 3.22 ERA in eight career starts in Arlington.