ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers lost 6-4 in the deciding game of the home-opening series against the Houston Astros at Globe Life Park. For the third time in the young season, Texas was defeated on the heels of a victory.
The Rangers rallied from a four-run deficit with two runs in the seventh and eighth to reach extra innings for the first time this season.
How it happened: Former Angel Hank Conger, a late-inning replacement at catcher, belted a two-run homer in the 14th inning off Logan Verrett, the seventh Rangers pitcher of the afternoon. Verrett, in his second inning of work, issued a one-out walk to Evan Gattis prior to being touched for Conger's drive that was estimated to have traveled 367 feet. Texas pitching blanked Houston in the previous 11 innings.
The Rangers' Leonys Martin was robbed of a game-winning hit in the 10th inning when Houston right fielder George Springer crashed into the wall and made a leaping grab of a drive that appeared to have home run distance.
Texas loaded the bases with two out in the bottom of the 14th, but Rougned Odor lined out to right field for the final out.
Start of a comeback: Martin snapped an 0-for-18 with a two-run, two out single in the seventh to trim the Houston lead to 4-2. A pair of walks sandwiched around Carlos Corporan's double preceded Martin's hard-hit grounder up the middle.
One bad inning: Colby Lewis' undoing on the way to a no-decision was the long ball. Houston cleanup hitter Luis Valbuena jerked a solo shot into the right field home run porch to start the second inning. Jake Marisnik launched a two-run drive into the left field stands to finish the four-run outburst. It was the first home runs of the year for both. The 35-year-old Lewis responded by allowing no hits or runs in the next five innings. He left the game to a nice reception with two on and one out in the eighth.
More selective: Manager Jeff Bannister before the game addressed the Rangers' low number of walks (11) compared to a high number of strikeouts (41). On Sunday, Texas batters struck out nine times and drew seven walks. The patience paid off in the eighth inning when the Rangers took advantage of two walks and a hit batter to score twice and tie it. Rougned Odor drew a walk to force in a run and Corporan delivered a sacrifice fly.
In a pinch: Bannister used three pinch hitters in the eighth inning and all three reached base. Mitch Moreland and Shin-Soo Choo were hit by pitches and Carlos Peguero walked.
Impressive start: In the first inning of his first major league start, outfielder Delino DeShields Jr. made a diving catch of a soft fly to shallow left-center, then alertly hopped to his feet and made a strong throw to first base to double off base runner Jose Altuve. DeShields drew a walk in the two-run seventh.
Missed opportunity: Texas loaded the bases with one out in the fourth inning on singles by Elvis Andrus and Prince Fielder (going the opposite way to beat the shift) and a walk to Jake Smolinski. The threat died when Adam Rosales grounded into a double play.
What's next: The Rangers host the Angels in the opener of a three-game series at 8:05 p.m. ET Monday at Globe Life Park. Left-hander Ross Detwiler will attempt to rebound from a disastrous start in Oakland. He'll be opposed by Los Angeles right-hander Matt Shoemaker. Game 2 of the series will also have a 8:05 p.m. ET start on Tuesday. The series will conclude at 2:05 p.m. ET on Wednesday.