PHOENIX – The Texas Rangers were in a good position, or so it seemed. They had a two-run lead on the Arizona Diamondbacks and Yu Darvish was pitching well and had matched his career-high in strikeouts.
But it changed suddenly in the eighth inning when Didi Gregorius turned on a pitch and sent it over the right-field fence for a two-run homer that tied the game at 4-4. Darvish faced only one more batter, and the Rangers were reeling to get the momentum back.
They had a chance in the ninth with runners at the corners and two outs, but Elvis Andrus was retired on a grounder back to the mound.
Instead, the D-backs won it in walk-off fashion when Cliff Pennington roped a liner down the first-base line to bring in the game-winning run in a 5-4 victory. Arizona swept Monday’s doubleheader at Chase Field, as Texas has gone 5-5 in its last 10 games.
Rangers reliever Jason Frasor entered for the ninth and gave up a leadoff double to D-backs catcher Miguel Montero. Frasor struck out A.J. Pollock, but Ron Washington then went with left-hander Robbie Ross to face Eric Hinske.
But the D-backs sent Martin Prado up to pinch-hit, and Ross intentionally walked him to set up the at-bat with Pennington.
It was a dramatic end for a game that the Rangers seemed to have in hand.
Darvish gave up two runs in the first inning, but the Rangers battled back from the early deficit with single runs in the second and fourth to tie the game at 2-2, and took the lead in the sixth.
Lance Berkman drew a one-out walk, Adrian Beltre singled to put runners at the corners and A.J. Pierzynski delivered a run-scoring single. Beltre then scored on a groundout by Craig Gentry.-- Drew Davison