Rangers can't rally after early setbacks

Injuries to Holland, Choo and Rua give edge to Astros in opener at Globe Life Park

Rangers can't rally after early setbacks

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers didn't have a whole lot of words to explain what happened or what they saw on the field during their home opener on Friday afternoon.

"It was nothing we wanted," shortstop Elvis Andrus said after a 5-1 loss to the Astros. "It was a tough loss. We'll bounce back tomorrow and get back on our feet."

Maybe, but the Rangers are back to dealing with major injury issues. Derek Holland is going on the disabled list with a subscapularis strain and Ryan Rua is expected to join him with a sprained right ankle. More injury news is not what Texas wanted to hear.

"I'm over that. ... It's part of the game," first baseman Prince Fielder said.

Holland left the game after one inning. Shin-Soo Choo was forced out after two because of spasms in his upper back. Rua left after five innings.

Despite all that, there was still a game to be won, but the back end of the bullpen couldn't keep it close.

"We definitely had a chance to get back in the game," Fielder said. "We had some opportunities, we just couldn't come through."

Bass' outstanding relief effort

Anthony Bass gave the Rangers a chance to get back in the game, holding the Astros to one run over five innings after taking over for Holland in the second.

"To be pitching in the second inning of the game, for him to step in and give our club an opportunity was huge," manager Jeff Banister said.

The Rangers trailed 2-0 going into the bottom of the sixth, and they mounted a rally against Astros starter Collin McHugh. With one out, Adrian Beltre doubled and went to third on a single by Fielder.

That brought up Delino DeShields, the Rangers fifth outfielder who had taken over for Rua. He squared to bunt on the first two strikes, then hit a high chopper to short for a force that scored the Rangers only run.

DeShields drives in Beltre

Trailing 2-1, Banister tried to keep it close with the best of his bullpen. But the Astros scored one in the seventh against Roman Mendez on a two-out double by Robbie Grossman and a single by Jake Marisnick. Shawn Tolleson pitched a scoreless eighth, but Colby Rasmus added a two-run home run with two outs off closer Neftali Feliz in the ninth.

"I felt like we were in there all the way, that's why we had the three horses in there," Banister said.

All five runs scored by the Astros came with two outs.

"That was a killer," Banister said.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.