"We haven't been very successful in [those situations]," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "To walk off at home, the ability to do that, was big."
The showdown was between Rangers closer Sam Dyson and Astros reliever Ken Giles. Both managers used their best reliever in the ninth inning in a tie game against the heart of the opponent's lineup.
Dyson responded by setting the side down in order. Giles gave up the game-winning run, partly because the Astros couldn't turn an inning-ending double play. Dyson walked away with a win.
"Huge," Banister said. "They've got their big hitters coming up. That situation, that was as good as any save. To get those three outs in a pressure situation … that was huge for us and for Sam."
Jose Altuve had three hits, but Dyson retired him on a fly to center to start the ninth. Dyson then got Carlos Correa on a grounder to Beltre and struck out Colby Rasmus to end the inning.
"I'm not thinking, 'Oh no … it's so-and-so,'" Dyson said. "I just go out there and go as hard as I can."
Giles took over for the Astros in the bottom of the inning and struck out Ian Desmond. But Nomar Mazara got the Rangers going by lining a single to left, giving him four hits.
"Like you said, try to put the bat on it and put a good swing on it," Mazara said. "That's what I did."
Beltre followed with a grounder to short right at Correa, who bobbled the ball ever so slightly. Correa did get the force at second on Mazara, but not the inning-ending double play as Beltre beat the relay throw from Altuve.
"It's something we pride ourselves in, respect for running 90 feet hard," Banister said. "If he picks that cleanly, it's a double play."
That brought up Odor, who had hit a solo home run in the third and a game-tying sacrifice fly in the seventh. This time he drove a ball deep to left and it hit on the wall just above Rasmus' reach. The ball caromed away from Rasmus and Beltre scored easily.
"I was ready to hit," Odor said. "I was ready to hit the fastball. He passed me with a fastball first pitch and then he threw it again and I put a good swing on it. I knew it was going to hit the wall and [Beltre] runs pretty good and I knew he was going to score on the play."
The Rangers mobbed Odor, who is 5-for-11 since returning from his suspension. This was the second walk-off hit of his career and he deserved the moment.
But the Rangers' walk-off win started with Dyson in the top of the inning.
T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.