ARLINGTON – The Texas Rangers had a chance to end it an inning earlier, but couldn’t capitalize.
That gave the Cincinnati Reds another opportunity, and they took advantage of it. Devin Mesoraco sent a two-run homer into the left-field seats in the 11th inning, and Aroldis Chapman closed out the Reds’ 6-4 victory over the Rangers on Saturday night.
The Rangers lost for only the second time in their last 10 games.
With the game tied 4-4 going to the 11th, the Rangers handed the ball off to Kyle McClellan, who started the inning by hitting Todd Frazier with a 1-2 curveball. Mesoraco, the Reds’ No. 8 batter, then connected on a 1-1 sinker for his fourth homer of the season.
That proved to be the difference in the game.
A.J. Pierzynski gave the Rangers life in the bottom of the 11th by drawing a leadoff walk, but Chapman induced a double-play grounder by Mitch Moreland and ended it by striking out Jurickson Profar.
The Rangers had a couple chances late, too.
The Rangers appeared to have won it in the bottom of the ninth when Moreland sent a deep fly ball to right-center field, but Reds rightfielder Jay Bruce caught it at the wall.
In the 10th, Elvis Andrus drew a two-out walk and Nelson Cruz followed with a broken-bat single to right to push Andrus to third. But Adrian Beltre popped up to end the threat.
The Rangers battled back from an early deficit. The Reds took a 1-0 lead on the first pitch of the game when Shin-Soo Choo took Nick Tepesch deep, and made it 2-0 in the third on an RBI single by Brandon Phillips.
But the Rangers rallied to take the lead with three runs in the third despite having only one hit in the inning. Engel Beltre scored on an error, Andrus drove in a run on a fielder’s choice grounder and Cruz came through with a sacrifice fly.
Tepesch had a shutdown fourth inning, but didn’t record an out in the fifth inning. Instead, the Reds rallied for two runs and a 4-3 lead. Zack Cozart had an RBI double off Tepesch, and Xavier Paul drove in a run charged to Tepesch with a single off reliever Ross Wolf.
The Rangers tied it at 4-4 in the sixth. Andrus led off with a double down the left-field line, and Cruz followed with an RBI ground-rule double to center.
The four runs were scored off only three hits in the first seven innings, as Reds starter Mike Leake pitched well but fell victim to three fielding errors.
-- Drew Davison