Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora started to feel it, with his ballclub loading the bases in the 10th inning after rallying to tie it in the ninth.
"This is kind of what David used to do," Cora said on a night when the game seemed secondary to his concern over former teammate David Ortiz. "It’s one of those days you don’t want to be a part of, honestly. But we have a job to do."
Danny Santana doubled to lead off the 11th for his fourth hit of the game and scored on Elvis Andrus’ single, leading the Texas Rangers to a 4-3 victory over the Red Sox on Monday night.
Near the end of the game, Ortiz landed in his adopted city in an air ambulance from the Dominican Republic, where he was shot in the back while at a nightclub on Sunday night. Fans observed a moment of reflection before the game and chanted his nickname — "Papi!" — during it.
"You’re talking about a guy that put a team and a city on his back, basically his entire career," said Red Sox starter Chris Sale, who struck out 10 in seven innings of three-hit ball and left with a 2-1 lead. "Obviously, you want to be able to pick him up when you can."
But the Red Sox weren’t able to manage a walk-off hit like those that were the hallmark of Ortiz’s career.
Instead, it was the Rangers who rallied from a 2-1 deficit in the ninth inning to take a 3-2 lead. Boston tied it in the bottom half to send the game into extra innings, but Texas went ahead again in the 11th — and this time, it stuck.
Santana led off the 11th with a line drive down the line, a ball right fielder Mookie Betts had to dive for to stop it from bounding all the way to the corner for a potential inside-the-park homer. Andrus hit one up the middle past Ryan Brasier (2-3) to make it 4-3.
Jesse Chavez (2-1) pitched the 10th, and Chris Martin worked the 11th for his second save. The Rangers beat the Red Sox for just the third time in 15 games and snapped a six-game losing streak against Boston.
Sale allowed just one unearned run.
Texas’ Mike Minor allowed two runs on four hits and two walks, striking out six in eight innings. He walked Betts to lead off the bottom of the first, and Andrew Benintendi followed with a home run to left-centre, his seventh of the season.
Minor only allowed four more baserunners.
"I’m proud of Mike," Texas manager Chris Woodward said. "He’s trying to prove he’s an elite pitcher. He gets down 2-0 to Sale, one of the best in the game, a lot of pitchers with any kind of doubt where they stand, if they’re an elite pitcher or not, maybe kind of fold their tent."
Brandon Workman pitched a perfect eighth for Boston, but Matt Barnes gave up a one-out single to Santana followed by a double by Andrus. With the infield in, Nomar Mazara fisted the ball over the head of shortstop Xander Bogaerts for a single to give Texas a 3-2 lead — its first of the game.
It was Barnes’ fourth blown save in eight opportunities.
"They took (Sale) out after seven and I think his pitch count was under 100, I think that kind of energized us," Minor said. "Bring in the ‘pen, I know we’re going to get these guys."
Texas reliever Shawn Kelley allowed two singles to start the ninth before Rafael Devers to hit a high chopper for a 4-3-6-3 double play. Brock Holt hit a blooper to left-centre to score pinch-runner Michael Chavis and make it 3-3.
But Holt was easily thrown out at the plate when he tried to score from first on a high fly ball by Marco Hernandez that dropped in down the right field line for a double, sending the game into extra innings.
The Red Sox loaded the bases in the 10th, but Bogaerts lofted an easy fly to centre to end the inning.
Rangers: OF Willie Calhoun transferred to extended spring training in Arizona. He has been on the IL since May 22 with a left quad strain.
Red Sox: DH J.D. Martinez returned after missing four games with tightness in his back.
The Rangers will send righty Ariel Jurado (3-2, 2.78 ERA) to the mound in the second game of the series against Darwinzon Hernandez (0-0), who will make his first career start. He pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings of relief on April 23, his only major league appearance.