Arlington, TX – Devin Mesoraco scorched a go-ahead two-run homer in the top of the 11th inning to lift the Cincinnati Reds to a 6-4 victory over the Texas Rangers in the middle portion of a three-game set Saturday at Rangers Ballpark.
After J.J. Hoover (1-5) stranded runners on the corners in the bottom of the 10th, the Reds broke through against Kyle McClellan in the 11th.
McLellan (0-1) plunked Todd Frazier to start the frame before Mesoraco launched a sinker over the wall in left field to put the Reds in front.
"Defense was great, offense was there, I just let them down," McLellan admitted. "Game on the line like that and you feel like you let these guys down."
Aroldis Chapman worked around a leadoff walk in the bottom half to nail down his 20th save of the season and halt the Reds' three-game slide.
Shin-Soo Choo collected three hits, including a solo homer, and also scored twice, while Zack Cozart, Brandon Phillips and Xavier Paul each knocked in a run for the Reds, who hadn't scored a run in their last 22 innings entering the contest.
"Any time you get a win, regardless of how you've been playing, it's always a good feeling," Phillips said. "It's not like we haven't been trying, we've just been having bad luck. It feels good to be on the winning side."
Nelson Cruz clubbed a double and plated a pair of runs, with Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus each adding an RBI and a run scored for the Rangers, who had won three straight and eight of their last nine games.
Choo quelled Cincinnati's scoring drought on the first pitch of the game, as he launched a sinker over the wall in center to make it 1-0.
The Reds tacked on a run in the third on Phillips' bases-loaded single to right, but Cincinnati committed three errors in the bottom half that helped the Rangers grab a 3-2 lead.
Texas' rally started when Engel Beltre reached on first baseman Joey Votto's fielding error with one out. Beltre moved to third on Leonys Martin's single before scoring on another Votto error.
With runners on the corners, Kinsler slapped a grounder to first that Votto corralled, but as he tried to start a potential inning-ending double-play, his throw to second sailed, allowing Beltre to score, Martin to reach third and Kinsler to find second.
Andrus then ripped a grounder to shortstop Cozart, who made a throwing error that allowed Martin to score and left runners at the corners. Cruz then plated Kinsler with a sacrifice fly to give the Rangers a 3-2 edge.
Cozart made up for his throwing gaffe and tied the game in the fifth when he scorched a double to left to score Choo, who started the frame with a single to center.
Votto followed with a single to right to put runners on the corners and chase Texas starter Nick Tepesch from the contest.
Ross Wolf took over on the hill and got Phillips to tap one out in front of the plate for the first out of the inning. Wolf then intentionally walked Jay Bruce to load the bases for Paul, who smacked a line-drive single to right to plate Cozart for a 4-3 lead.
Wolf bounced back by inducing an inning-ending double-play groundout from Jack Hannahan to keep the deficit at one.
Wolf's ability to escape the jam loomed large, as Texas pulled even in the sixth when Andrus stroked a leadoff double and crossed the plate on Cruz's ground-rule double to right-center field to make it 4-4.
Neither team put together much from there until the bottom of the 10th, when Andrus worked a one-out walk and moved to third on Cruz's single.
Hoover, however, got Adrian Beltre to pop out into foul territory to keep the contest locked at 4-4.
Tepesch allowed four runs -- three earned -- on six hits and two walks while striking out seven over four-plus innings ... Cincinnati starter Mike Leake was charged for four runs -- one earned -- on three hits over seven strong frames ... Phillips' RBI single in the third snapped an 0-for-18 skid for the Reds with runners in scoring position ... Choo's leadoff homer was the 10th of his career and fifth of the season ... Cincinnati's three errors in the third were the most in an inning since May 5, 2006 when they committed three in the second inning against Arizona ... Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto was placed on the 15-day disabled list before the game with a strained right lat muscle.