An early lead wasn't good enough, as another blown save opportunity lost it for the Rangers, falling 4-3 to the Astros in Houston.
The Rangers jumped out to a quick lead in the first, with the top of the lineup producing two runs off the bat. Shin-Soo Choo lead off with a single, and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Elvis Andrus. Post All-Star break RBI leader J.P. Arencibia came up to bat, and hit a two-run homer well over the left field fence, giving the Rangers the 2-0 lead.
Chris Carter hit a solo home run off of Miles Mikolas in the fifth, but the it was the eighth inning where the Astros took the lead. Neal Cotts blew the save opportunity, and it all started with a leadoff single from Jon Singleton. Robbie Grossman then hit a two-run homer to give the Astros the 3-2 lead. Jake Marisnick would single, and score on a double by Gregorio Petit, to give Houston an insurance run.
Texas wasn't done however, making a run for a comeback in the ninth with the most unlikely of heroes. Adam Rosales doubled to put a man on base, and then Matt Carp, pinch-hitting for Geovany Soto, singled to score Rosales and collect his first Rangers RBI. Rougned Odor singled to put two men on with one out for Daniel Robertson. The pieced together part of the lineup was unable to complete the rally, as Robertson grounded into a double play to end the game.
While it was far from perfect, the Rangers starter Mikolas was able to string together his best start of the season, giving up only one run. A high pitch count prevented Mikolas from making it to the sixth inning, but at the end of the day he kept his team in the game, before handing the reins over to Shawn Tolleson.
Tolleson, and Roman Mendez, each posted shutout performances before Cotts entered the game. Cotts now has six blown saves on the season, and his struggles are apparent, but then again, struggle defines this 2014 Rangers season.
The Rangers take on the Astros for game two Saturday night, with Yu Darvish facing off against former Ranger Scott Feldman. Game time is slated for 6:10 p.m. CT.