ARLINGTON -- The D-backs spoiled Rangers pitcher Matt Harrison's return to the Major Leagues with a five-run second inning and went on to a 7-4 victory on Wednesday night at Globe Life Park. The Rangers have lost four straight and eighth in a row at home.
"It was a good series on the road against an American League team, and this is a tough park to pitch in," D-backs manager Chip Hale said. "We held on, and the bullpen did a great job for us."
D-backs center fielder A.J. Pollock, who was selected to the National League All-Star team on Monday, had the big blow with a three-run home run off Harrison in the second. Welington Castillo had a two-run home run in the fifth off Rangers reliever Anthony Bass.
Harrison, pitching in the Major Leagues for the first time since May 13, 2014, allowed six runs in four-plus innings on six hits and three walks while striking out one in his return from spinal fusion surgery.
"It was definitely fun to be back out there competing with these guys," Harrison said. "I didn't know if it was gonna happen, but today I was out there and happy to be back out there. I've just got to be better -- a lot better than I was tonight."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Hellickson misses out on win: It looked like D-backs starter Jeremy Hellickson was on his way to his seventh win of the season after the D-backs scored five runs in second inning and another two in the top of the fifth. But Hellickson did not make it through the requisite five innings needed for a win due to a blister on his right thumb that forced him from the game after the fourth.
"It's all right, just a little tender there," Hellickson said. "I just didn't want to make it any worse."
Burst of offense: The five-run outburst by the D-backs in the second inning, which included Pollock' homer and RBI singles from Cliff Pennington and Nick Ahmed, was their largest output in an inning since they scored seven runs against the Padres in the second inning on June 21.
Rangers can't finish off Hellickson: Hellickson allowed six hits and two walks in four innings. But the Rangers missed chances to get to him by going 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position while the righty was in the game. They finished the night 1-for-15 with RISP, leaving 11 men on base.
"We had a lot of opportunities tonight, especially with bases loaded," right fielder Shin-Soo Choo said. "At least a couple could have scored. … We had so many opportunities tonight and can't make those opportunities matter. That's the whole game." More >
Two-out trauma: All of the D-backs' runs scored with two outs. A one-out walk to David Peralta started the second-inning rally, and Pollock's single leading off the fifth chased Harrison and set up Castillo's homer off Bass later in the frame. The D-backs finished 4-for-11 with RISP.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
With the win, the D-backs improved to 42-42 on the season, the first time they've been at .500 since April 24. Twelve other times the D-backs had a chance to reach the .500 mark, but had lost each of those 12 games.
RANGERS CAN'T CAPITALIZE ON REVIEW REVERSAL
The Rangers won a review challenge in the fourth inning that set up a potential big inning, but they did not take advantage of it. After Mitch Moreland singled and Elvis Andrus walked to lead off the inning, Rougned Odor hit a potential double-play grounder at second baseman Cliff Pennington, who flipped to shortstop Nick Ahmed. But the throw was soft and a bit high and wide, and Ahmed's momentum carried him through and past the bag before making the catch. Andrus was still called out by second-base umpire Jeff Kellogg. The Rangers challenged and won, setting up a bases-loaded situation, but Hellickson struck out Robinson Chirinos and Delino DeShields and retired Choo on a fly to center.
WHAT'S NEXT D-backs: The D-backs are off Thursday before opening a three-game series against the Mets at Citi Field on Friday at 4:10 p.m. MST. Chase Anderson (4-2, 3.71 ERA) will start for the D-backs.
Rangers: After an off-day, Wandy Rodriguez (5-4, 4.23 ERA) starts for the Rangers to open a three-game series against the Padres on Friday at 7:05 p.m. CT. Rodriguez is 0-4 with a 7.42 ERA in six starts at home this season.