Analogous to the plethora of contributors on the disabled list sending the 2014 Rangers season into obsolescence, Sunday’s matinee bout with the Mets was over before it really got going.
A day after five early runs were the key to a Ranger victory, the script was flipped Sunday afternoon. The Mets put up what would be a decisive five-spot in the first inning to stack the odds against Texas in an 8-4 loss.
Rangers starter Nick Tepesch allowed three hits, including a three-run home run by Anthony Recker, and issued three walks in the first inning to dig the Rangers into a 5-0 hole. Lucas Duda and Juan Lagares collected the other RBI hits off Tepesch in the first.
"It's nine one-inning games is the best way to look at it," Tepesch told reporters after the game. "I lost the first one, so it was just go out and try to win the rest of them."
Over the final seven-and-a-half innings, the Rangers outscored the Mets by one. And just as the club has done for so much of the season, it battled back and fell short.
Robinson Chirinos made what looked to be the only notable contribution of the game in the fourth inning when he sent a solo home run over the left field wall, his second homer in as many days.
He also claimed his 20th victim on the basepaths, throwing out Lucas Duda on a strike-him-out, throw-him-out double play in the third inning
The 30-year-old Venezuelan has been a pleasant surprise at the dish (second on the team with nine homers) and behind it (best in MLB with a 47.6 percent caught-stealing rate).
Trailing by a half-dozen runs in the eighth after single New York runs in the sixth and seventh innings, the stagnant Texas offense showed life with two home runs.
Alex Rios hit his first homer since mid-May to lead off the Ranger eighth, and Leonys Martin added a two-run blast two batters later. Adrian Beltre singled in between the two Texas long balls.
Six different Mets recorded RBI in the game, the last of which coming on a Ruben Tejada single in the eighth inning.
Tepesch needed 91 pitches to get through two-thirds of the ballgame, with 37 of them (40 percent) coming in the first inning. He allowed six earned runs and walked four in the game.
Jason Frasor and Aaron Poreda were each charged with a run to his ledger in the seventh and eighth innings, respectively. Tejada’s RBI single came off of Feliz, but it was Poreda’s runner that crossed the plate.
Texas has never won a series against the Mets after dropping two of three at Citi Field over the weekend. The Rangers return home for a series with the Astros starting Monday. Texas ended Sunday’s game 2.5 games ahead of last-place Houston, with the ‘Stros still in action.
First pitch Monday is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.