"That's the way we've played all year," Desmond said. "Why change now? It's always good to win in any fashion. It was a well-played game."
The victory, coupled with the Mariners' loss to the Blue Jays, allowed the Rangers to reduce their magic number for winning the American League West to three with 11 games left to play. The Angels had a two-game winning streak snapped and have lost 10 of their last 13.
Elvis Andrus led off the ninth with a single off Angels reliever Jose Alvarez. Carlos Gomez then dropped a bunt and beat it out for a base hit. That brought up Desmond, who flared one into right field to send home Andrus with the winning run.
"We played hard and just couldn't get that key hit that might have changed it," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We had a couple of our bullpen guys who weren't available. But you've got to give credit to those guys. They went and got it."
Angels starter Jhoulys Chacin allowed one run in five innings, and Martin Perez went seven for the Rangers and allowed two runs. Nomar Mazara gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead in the fifth with his 19th home run, but the Angels tied it in the sixth on a double by Yunel Escobar and triple by Mike Trout. Los Angeles went ahead in the seventh on an RBI double by Carlos Perez, but Texas tied it in the bottom of the inning on a home run by Andrus.
"This never gets old," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "These are extremely emotional wins. When you walk off ... or come back in that fashion, all the things that compound the emotions, it never gets old."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Chacin wears liner: With one out in the fourth, Rangers catcher Jonathan Lucroy hit a line drive that left his bat at 104 mph, per Statcast™, and caught Chacin square in his left shin. Chacin immediately went to the ground, and first baseman C.J. Cron picked up the deflected liner and retired Lucroy. Chacin remained on the ground for a few minutes as he was tended to by trainers, but he was able to stay in the game after throwing a few warmup pitches.
"When he hit me, he hit me pretty well," Chacin said. "As soon as I got up, I put my foot down and I felt like I could still go." More >
Liner finds Escobar: With the bases loaded and one out in the eighth, pinch-hitter Ryan Rua sent a Statcast-measured 111-mph line drive toward left field off Alvarez. But third baseman Escobar was able to snag the liner, which was the fifth-hardest ball Rua has hit all season. Jared Hoying then followed with a flyout to end the inning and keep the score tied at 2.
Andrus goes deep: Andrus tied the score in the bottom of the seventh with a home run off Angels reliever Cory Rasmus. It was his sixth home run; the Statcast-estimated distance of 408 feet makes it his longest shot of the season. It was the first home run allowed by Rasmus to a right-handed hitter in 46 at-bats this season.
Moreland ejected:Mitch Moreland was ejected in the fourth inning by home-plate umpire Kerwin Danley after taking a called third strike on a breaking pitch that appeared to be outside. Moreland was walking away from home plate and talking to Danley when he was thrown out of the game. It was his first career ejection.
"It was obviously a pitch I didn't agree with," Moreland said. "I feel like I don't do that often. I let him know I thought it was a bad pitch and as he walked alongside me, he didn't like what I had to say."
QUOTABLE "The fans were lively tonight. It's an exciting time around here. Like I said when I first signed here, there is no better time to steal Cowboy fans." -- Desmond
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS Adrian Beltre had two more hits, giving him 2,931 for his career. That allowed him to pass Hall of Famer and Texas native Rogers Hornsby for 37th all time.
BANISTER EJECTED AFTER OVERTURNED CALL Banister was ejected in the sixth inning after the Angels were successful on a replay challenge. Escobar was thrown out trying to go to third on a one-out triple, but the Angels challenged that the ball should have been ruled dead because it was lodged under the padding on the right-field wall. The call was overturned, Escobar was awarded a ground-rule double and Banister was thrown out for arguing after the replay review. Escobar then scored on a triple by Trout. More >
UNDER REVIEW Rangers bench coach Steve Buechele, acting as manager with Banister ejected, looked to keep the team's sixth-inning rally alive after Lucroy struck out swinging and Rougned Odor was called out trying to steal second base to end the inning. But the call on the field was confirmed, and the inning came to an end.
Scioscia challenged a Rangers stolen-base attempt after Gomez was ruled safe on a steal of second with two outs in the seventh inning. Scioscia lost his challenge as well, as the call stood after a one-minute and 35-second review.
WHAT'S NEXT Angels: Right-hander Daniel Wright will take the mound for the second game of the series at 5:05 p.m. PT on Tuesday at Globe Life Park. Wright will be making his third start for the Angels since being claimed off waivers from the Reds on Sept. 4.
Rangers: Right-hander A.J. Griffin pitches at 7:05 p.m. CT on Tuesday against the Angels at Globe Life Park. Griffin is 3-3 with a 5.96 ERA in his last eight starts and 3-2 with a 3.77 ERA in seven career starts against the Angels.