We continue our dazzling dozen with a memorable Rangers comeback in June against the Astros.
On June 21, the Rangers played the Astros at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington as part of the annual rivalry between the two Texas big league clubs. The Rangers came into the game in a bit of a funk. They had lost nine of the last 14 games and the AL West lead had dropped to one game.
Houston had a 4-3 lead heading to the bottom of the eighth. But Hamilton turned on a 2-1 pitch from Sergio Escalona and crushed it to right field, the ball landing inthe seats 431 feet away. That tied the score.
Neither team did much (each had an inning with a two-out hit, but nothing else) as the game went into extra innings. The weather forecast was calling for rain and the radar showed wet weather very close to the park as the game went into the bottom of the 11th.
Moreland came up to lead things off and belted the very first pitch he saw into the home run porch in right for a 422-foot shot to give the Rangers a walk-off win. It was Moreland's 10th game-winning RBI of the season and he smiled at the dugout as he headed toward first knowing he'd homered almost as soon as he swung the bat. The rain came less than 10 minutes after the game ended.
What it meant: For a team that had so many dramatic wins in 2010, but not many in 2011, it showed they could manage a come-from-behind win late. It also allowed them to gain a game on the Angels, increasing their AL West lead to two games.
The aftermath: Texas won that series with the Astros and then took two of three in Houston later in June. That helped set up the 12-game winning streak in July that kept them on top of the AL West.