Rapid Reaction: Reds 6, Rangers 4 (11)
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Cincinnati Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco crushed a two-run home run off Texas Rangers reliever Kyle McClellan in the top of the 11th inning, lifting the Reds to a 6-4 victory on Saturday night.
Manager Ron Washington chose not to use Tanner Scheppers in the 11th inning, opting to rest him and throw McClellan instead. It didn't go well. McClellan hit Todd Frazier with a 1-and-2 breaking ball. Then he gave up a 380-foot home run to Mesoraco on a night when the ball wasn't carrying. Mesoraco was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts before his game-winning at-bat.
Rangers miss chance in 10th: The Rangers started a two-out rally in the bottom of the 10th against Reds reliever J.J. Hoover, who already had four extra-inning losses this season. Elvis Andrus drew a four-pitch walk. Nelson Cruz followed with a broken-bat single to right, which moved Andrus to third. That set up Adrian Beltre for the game-winning chance, but he popped up behind the plate to end the inning.
Rangers take advantage of errors: The Reds made three errors in the bottom of the third, two of them by first baseman Joey Votto, as the Rangers overcame a two-run deficit to take a 3-2 lead. Votto's first error, a booted ground ball off the bat of Engel Beltre, gave the Rangers their first baserunner of the game against Reds starter Mike Leake. Leonys Martin followed with the Rangers' first hit to put runners at first and third. Votto then made another error, this one a throwing error when he tried to get Beltre at home on Ian Kinsler's soft grounder to first. That cut the lead to 2-1. Andrus followed with an RBI fielder's choice to tie the game at two and Reds shortstop Zack Cozart made a throwing error on the play that allowed Ian Kinsler to sneak into third base safe. Cruz then had a sacrifice fly to left field to give the Rangers a 3-2 lead.
Tepesch's third time around: Opponents are now batting .446 against Rangers starter Nick Tepesch the third time through the batting order. The Reds' top three batters in the lineup were 3-for-3 against Tepesch to start the top of the fifth inning, setting up a two-run inning to give Cincinnati a 4-3 lead. That knocked Tepesch out of the game. He allowed four runs in four innings despite six strikeouts.
A Wolf sighting: Long reliever Ross Wolf pitched for the first time since June 15. He did allow an inherited runner to score with the bases loaded on Xavier Paul's single to give the Reds a 4-3 lead. But Wolf followed with a double-play ball to get out of the inning and keep the Rangers within a run. In all, he had three shutout innings, allowing two hits as he makes his case for another start with Tepesch struggling.
Cotts does work: Neal Cotts did it yet again, working around a leadoff double in the top of the eighth -- a line drive that was overrun by Martin in left field. Cotts bounced back with two ground balls and a strikeout. Cotts also got two outs in the top of the ninth before being relieved, still in a 4-4 game, by closer Joe Nathan. Cotts has 9⅓ consecutive scoreless innings.
Offense wakes up: The Rangers had only three hits in seven innings against Leake. Two of them were back-to-back doubles by Andrus and Cruz to start the sixth inning to tie the game at four. The Rangers wasted a chance to take the lead as Adrian Beltre failed to move Cruz to third by grounding out to shortstop. After Cruz moved to third on A.J. Pierzynski's groundout, Mitch Moreland popped up on the infield to end the inning.
Martin steals another: Martin picked up his 12th consecutive stolen base in the seventh inning after a one-out walk. Martin has stolen seven bases in his past 13 games.
Up next: The Rangers finish off a three-game series against Cincinnati as right-hander Yu Darvish (7-3, 2.95 ERA) faces Reds right-hander Mat Latos (7-1, 3.05 ERA) at 2:05 p.m. Sunday afternoon on Fox Sports Southwest and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and 1540-AM.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.
Play Podcast Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.