Texas Rangers battle back but come up short

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Overcoming a 4-0 deficit to force extra frames against the Houston Astros was an encouraging sign for the Texas Rangers. Discouraging was their failure to finish the job as they lost 6-4 in 14 innings on Sunday.

The Rangers went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position and stranded 15.

"We didn't get the big hit we needed," said manager Jeff Bannister, “but we battled our behind off all day long. That's what it will be about for this team."

Even after Hank Conger's two-run home run in the top of the 14th snapped a 4-4 tie, the Rangers fought back to load the bases in the bottom of the frame. Rougned Odor lined out to right field to end the game.

Mitch Moreland noted that the Rangers created a lot of opportunities and Prince Fielder echoed a familiar clubhouse theme.

"We had chances," said Fielder, who had three hits and raised his average to .379. "It just didn't work out for us. We played great."

But for a dazzling catch by Astros right fielder George Springer, the Rangers would been victorious in 10 innings. With the bases loaded and two outs, Springer, playing shallow, raced into the wall and extended his glove over the barrier to take a potential walk-off grand slam away from Leonys Martin.

"The ball did go out," Bannister said, "but he brought it back in his glove. He robbed Leonys of a grand slam. That is an athletic kid."

Rangers catcher Carlos Corporan, a former teammate of Springer at Houston, called the catch an unbelievable play.

"That's the ball game right there," said Corporan, who had two hits and an RBI. "I knew he was a good athlete and a good player. We thought right there we had it won, but in baseball you never know."

Rangers starting pitcher Colby Lewis said all three Houston outfielders are really centerfielders. "He ran a long way to get to it," said Lewis. "All three of those guys they have can fly."

Lewis ran into difficulty in just one inning. Houston touched him for two home runs, a double and a triple in a four-run second. For the rest of Lewis' 6.1 inning-outing, he allowed three hits and no runs on the way to a no-decision.

"In that inning, I just fell behind guys," Lewis said. "I had 2-0, 3-1 and 3-2 counts in that inning. The solo homer [by Luis Valbuena], I'm not worried about that. I still felt I was in good shape. It was the other hits with two outs."

One of those was a two-run home run into the left-field stands by bottom of the order hitter Jake Marisnick.

Lewis held the line by retiring 16 of the next 17 Astros.

"I got mad maybe and started pitching and not falling behind," Lewis said. "When I got ahead, I got guys out."

Said Bannister: "Colby got a couple of balls up in the zone that one inning. He settled down, kept the fastball down. I'm sure Colby would want that one inning back, but he battled."

Behind the plate, Corporan admired the way Lewis responded to adversity.

"Colby is beautiful, the way came back after falling behind," the catcher said.