Refuse to lose: Rangers walk off in wild 10th

Refuse to lose: Rangers walk off in wild 10th

Refuse to lose: Rangers walk off in wild 10th
ARLINGTON -- After Joe Nathan gave up a go-ahead solo home run to Chris Iannetta in the 10th inning, he thought a one-run deficit would be too easy for the Rangers to overcome. So he let Albert Pujols send a two-run homer over the left-field wall, giving the Angels a three-run lead.

"One would have been easy," Nathan said, with his tongue firmly in his cheek. "If it was just one run, they could do that in their sleep. So I figured I'd give up another home run to Pujols to make it more dramatic."

With the Rangers trailing by three runs in the 10th, Nelson Cruz launched the first pitch he saw from Ernesto Frieri 449 feet over the left-field wall before Mitch Moreland's bases-loaded single cut the Angels' lead to one run. Then, Elvis Andrus ended it with a two-run, walk-off single off Jason Isringhausen, giving Nathan his second win of the season, as the Rangers beat the Angels, 11-10, at the Ballpark in Arlington on Wednesday night.

"We were kind of feeling it all night," Moreland said. "It didn't matter how many runs we were down, we still felt like we were in the game. We kept scratching and clawing and finding ways to put runs on the board, just one at a time, trying to get a run here or there. It was a lot of fun there that last inning."

After Yu Darvish gave up seven runs in five innings, putting his team in a six-run hole, the Rangers' bullpen threw four scoreless innings, and Cruz, aided by a diving tag by Mike Napoli, threw out Kendrys Morales at the plate to keep the Rangers within one run going into the bottom of the ninth. That's when Ian Kinsler sent the game to extra innings with a one-out home run.

"I thought it was an outstanding game," manager Ron Washington said. "Early in that game, we were giving it to them, but the guys pulled together and showed what they're made of and fought to the end and ended up pulling it out. The offense just kept on grinding and grinding. They would not stop tonight. They would not quit. They fought and won it."

The Rangers overcame their largest deficit since a 10-9, 11-inning victory over the Red Sox on Aug. 13, 2010, when they trailed 8-2 in the fourth inning. Wednesday's win also marked the largest deficit overcome by the Rangers in extra innings since May 18, 1975, when the Rangers scored three runs in the 10th to tie the game and Tom Grieve's walk-off single in the 11th gave them a 7-6 win over the Tigers.

More than 37 years later, it was Andrus who provided the late-inning heroics, lining an Isringhausen offering past Angels third baseman Alberto Callaspo into left field.

"It was one of those games in Texas," Isringhausen said. "I was trying to get Elvis to hopefully roll over one and get a double play, and I just left it in a bad part of the plate. And I got down 3-0, so I have to come back at him and couldn't make the pitch I wanted to make and he got a base hit. Just a crazy game."

Darvish, who went 10-5 with a 3.59 ERA before the All-Star break, has gone 1-2 with a 7.66 ERA in four starts since then. After striking out the side in the first inning and retiring the first seven batters he faced, he walked four batters in the third inning -- all of whom scored -- and gave up a two-run home run to Pujols, who now has 1,400 career RBIs and has consecutive multihomer games for the first time in his career.

Darvish also made an errant throw to second base on a potential double-play ball before Kinsler committed his team-high 13th error of the year later in the third as the Angels scored six times in the inning. Darvish gave up seven runs on four hits in five innings while striking out seven and issuing six walks, tying a season high.

"In general, I think I'm starting to maybe think about the walks too much, paying too much attention to not walking guys," Darvish said. "I think that's getting into my head, kind of affecting my mentality. I think the next time, whether I walk 10 guys, not being afraid to walk guys, but giving my all and helping the team win, that's all I'm going to care about."

Once Darvish left the game, Alexi Ogando, Robbie Ross and Tanner Scheppers combined to hold the Angels to four hits and no runs in four innings while striking out eight batters and walking two.

"The guys before me did an awesome job," Nathan said. "For us to go out there and hold a team that was swinging the bats so good again, it looked like it could have been another ugly game for us. Give Yu credit for fighting as long as he did and grinding it out to get through five innings. The offense came through."

Christian Corona is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.