ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Jonah Heim ended the season opener for the World Series champion Texas Rangers with a 10th-inning RBI single, after not finishing a play on a disputed foul tip that had given the Chicago Cubs the lead.

Heim made up for his miscue with a two-out liner that lifted Texas to a 4-3 win Thursday night after the Rangers unfurled the franchise’s first World Series championship banner before the dramatic victory.

“The big thing is, he put it behind him and got that big hit,” Rangers manager Bruce Bochy said.

Adolis García and Travis Jankowski homered for the Rangers, and Wyatt Langford had a memorable big league debut.

Jankowski led off the ninth with a tying pinch-hit homer after Chicago went ahead in the top half of the inning.

Michael Busch scored from second base on what Heim thought was a foul tip, and he didn't immediately retrieve the ball. It appeared on slow-motion replays to tip the bat, though that kind of play isn’t subject to video review. José Leclerc, who had walked Busch and didn’t cover the plate, was charged with a wild pitch.

“Just heads-up baserunning, taking advantage of a little confusion on the field,” Craig Counsell said after his first game as Cubs manager. “We kind of stole a run right there.”

Plate umpire Chad Fairchild told a pool reporter after the game that he ruled it a swinging strike. Asked if he had seen a replay, the umpire said he had, but refused to talk about what he saw on it.

Heim, an All-Star and Gold Glove winner last season, took full responsibility.

“Obviously what happened can’t happen. ... Just finish the play and go on,” Heim said. “Thankfully, Travis came up and helped me out there, got my back. And a lot of great at-bats in the 10th inning there gave me an opportunity to try to put something in play.”

Drew Smyly, the Cubs’ seventh pitcher, walked two to load the bases before Heim ended the game.

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 a left hamstring strain 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. Counsell said the pitcher would have an MRI on Friday, and likely was headed to the injured list.

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 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. He was intentionally walked after getting to a 3-0 count with two outs in the eighth, and had a fielder's choice grounder right before Heim came up in the 10th.

“I think that shows the respect that Wyatt has already in the game,” Bochy said of that free pass. “Went to 3-0, so I wasn’t surprised to be honest. But I think everybody knows he can handle the bat."


A month after slugger Cody Bellinger signed an $80 million, three-year contract to stay with the Cubs, though he does have an opt-out after this season, the 2019 NL MVP hit an RBI double to put Chicago up 2-1 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.


A day off before RHP Kyle Hendricks pitches Saturday for the Cubs. Texas plans to go with LHP Cody Bradford.



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