HOUSTON -- An impressive comeback and heart-throbbing victory for the Rangers came to an end with first baseman Ronald Guzman fielding Josh Reddick's ground ball and jogging to first base for the final out.That was an appropriate way to close out both a 6-5 victory in 10 innings over the
HOUSTON -- An impressive comeback and heart-throbbing victory for the Rangers came to an end with first baseman Ronald Guzman fielding Josh Reddick's ground ball and jogging to first base for the final out.
That was an appropriate way to close out both a 6-5 victory in 10 innings over the Astros and a magical afternoon for the newly arrived rookie, who hit the tying home run in the eighth and the go-ahead RBI single in the 10th.
"This has been the best week of my life," Guzman said. "I love it. I am really enjoying myself."
The entire Rangers clubhouse was loving it on Saturday afternoon after coming back from being down five runs to snap a five-game losing streak. It has been a long week with the losing skid and the injuries to Rougned Odor and Elvis Andrus.
But they were finally able to celebrate with their first comeback victory of the season. They were 0-10 in games when the other team scored first prior to Saturday's win.
"Huge win," manager Jeff Banister said. "How we won, it is something we haven't done. An all-around win, that's the most important part. It took everybody in the dugout to win this game. We were down and never gave in. We like to think that is in our DNA, but it can go a long way for our confidence, especially these young guys."
The Rangers' rally came against a pitching staff that began the day leading the American League with a 2.53 ERA. The bullpen had an AL-leading 2.05 ERA before letting this one get away.
"We are certainly not used to that," manager AJ Hinch said.
The Rangers' bullpen was outstanding. The Astros scored five in the fourth off starter Mike Minor and he was out after five. But five relievers -- Tony Barnette, Matt Bush, Keone Kela, Chris Martin and Alex Claudio -- combined for five scoreless innings to make the comeback possible.
"We needed it," third baseman Adrian Beltre said. "We have been struggling trying to find a way to win and haven't been playing well. To beat a really good team with good pitching, maybe that will get us out of our funk and get us going."
The home runs brought the Rangers back. Astros starter Charlie Morton took a shutout into the sixth, but rookie infielder Isiah Kiner-Falefa led off with his first Major League home run. Beltre went deep with his 463rd career home run in the seventh. That allowed him to pass Jose Canseco and Adam Dunn, and move into a tie with Jose Cabrera for 35th all-time.
It also made it 5-2, and the Rangers pulled even in the eighth on a two-run home run by Joey Gallo and tying jack by Guzman off Astros reliever Brad Peacock.
The Rangers' winning rally started with Jurickson Profar drawing a one-out walk against Will Harris. Gallo, going the other way on a 1-2 pitch, doubled to left to put runners on second and third. An intentional walk to Beltre loaded the bases.
That brought up Guzman, and he smashed one up the middle that deflected off Harris' glove and out to no-man's land on the left side of the diamond. It went for an infield single that gave the Rangers their first lead and ultimately the win.
"They challenged me," said Guzman, ranked as the club's No. 8 prospect by MLB Pipeline. "I was just trying to do my best to hit the ball hard and make something happen."
MOMENT THAT MATTERED
The Rangers' bullpen put up five scoreless innings to make the comeback possible, but the Astros threatened in the 10th after singles by Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve opened the inning against Martin. Carlos Correa followed a check-swing roller toward the mound and Martin pounced on it, firing to third for the force.
"That was a little bit of a sigh of relief, knowing I was still a ground ball away from getting out of the inning," Martin said.
Yuli Gurriel then hit a line drive to Beltre for the second out, although he dropped the ball taking it out of his glove. Otherwise, Beltre might have had a chance to double off Altuve at second. But Claudio took over and retired Reddick on a grounder to Guzman to end the game.
"We had a good chance and had some at-bats, and we just couldn't push the right one across at the very end," Hinch said. "Obviously, at that point in our order, we feel really good. You get a couple of guys on base and no outs and put some pressure on them, but they made the pitches and got out of it."
The last two Rangers to hit their first home run in the same game were Laynce Nix and Jason Jones on July 24, 2003, against the Angels.
HE SAID IT
"I'm just having fun. All I am doing is looking up in the stands and seeing all these people, and soaking it all up and enjoying it. It's good. The music is loud, the fans are loud. It's a great experience that gets me going." -- Kiner-Falefa, who has been with the Rangers for a week
The Rangers will celebrate Jackie Robinson Day with right-hander Bartolo Colon pitching against the Astros at 7:08 p.m. CT on Sunday on ESPN. Colon, who will be facing Justin Verlander in a battle of former Cy Young Award winners, will be making his first start since April 2, when he allowed one run in six innings against the Athletics.
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.