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Moreland's Long Ball Caps Rangers Comeback

Arlington, TX (Sports Network) - Mitch Moreland hit Enerio Del Rosario's first pitch into the upper deck in right field in the bottom of the 11th, lifting the Rangers to a 5-4 victory over the Astros.

Del Rosario (0-2) had held Texas off the scoreboard for 2 1/3 innings, but delivered a flat pitch belt-high and over the inside part of the plate. Moreland turned on the ball with a quick, powerful swing and sent it soaring deep over the fence, a no-doubt winner.

"I was happy to be able to come through and do it," Moreland said. "It was a lot of fun, but it's good to get the series out of the way for us."

Josh Hamilton smacked a game-tying homer in the eighth and made a nice defensive play in the 11th for the Rangers, who rallied from a two-run deficit to win for the fourth time in five games.

Michael Bourn and Jeff Keppinger both had three hits and two RBI for the Astros, who have dropped six of eight.

Most of the game's scoring occurred in the early innings. Bourn doubled and scored on Keppinger's base hit in the first, and Texas' Michael Young began the second inning with a home run to right.

In the third, consecutive doubles by Jason Bourgeois and Bourn plated another Astros run. Keppinger singled home Bourn again to make it a 3-1 game, though the Rangers got one of those runs back in the fourth on a blast by Nelson Cruz.

Texas starter C.J. Wilson reached the seventh without allowing another run, but gave up singles to Clint Barmes, Bourgeois and Bourn. Bourn's hit was deflected by Moreland, the first baseman, allowing Barmes to score and forcing a pitching change. Mark Lowe came in to get the final out.

Wilson allowed a total of 11 hits in his 6 2/3 innings, and struck out four.

Like Wilson, Astros starter Jordan Lyles settled down before running into more trouble in the seventh. After Taylor Teagarden singled, Endy Chavez tripled over right fielder Bourgeois' head to pull the Rangers within 4-3.

"No one wants to lose, guys are going out there trying their best to get guys out," Lyles said. "Sometimes it just doesn't fall the way you want it to."

They tied the game in the following inning, when Hamilton led off by drilling Sergio Escalona's 90 mph fastball over the right field fence.

Texas' bullpen then gave the offense multiple chances to win the game by keeping Houston off the scoreboard. Neftali Feliz threw two scoreless innings before Yoshinori Tateyama (1-0) tossed a shutout 11th.

He walked Chris Johnson with one out but got some help from Hamilton, who slid to catch Brett Wallace's sinking liner in left field.

Game Notes

Moreland recorded the first walkoff hit of his career...Cruz was hit in the right forearm in the eighth inning, but stayed in the game...Young ended with three hits for the Rangers...Bourn stole two bases to increase his MLB-leading total to 32.

Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.