Mesoraco's 11th-inning homer lifts Reds

Michael Eldridge, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Devin Mesoraco sent an 11th-inning pitch over the left-field wall to give the Cincinnati Reds a 6-4 win over the Texas Rangers on Saturday night at Rangers Ballpark.
Cincinnati (46-35) snapped a three-game losing streak and ended a drought of two consecutive games without scoring a run.
Todd Frazier started the 11th when he was hit by a pitch from Rangers reliever Kyle McClellan, bringing Mesoraco to the plate. Mesoraco then belted his fourth homer of the year.
"It was a good win that we really needed," Mesoraco said. "Baseball is a crazy game. Sometimes when you are struggling you try harder, but in reality you try less. It's just a matter of going up there and relaxing and staying within yourself."
The Rangers missed an opportunity in the ninth when they stranded runners on the corners after Adrian Beltre fouled out. Leading off the ninth, Mitch Moreland sent a long fly ball to deep right center that was caught just feet from the fence.
"I thought it was gone," Rangers manager Ron Washington said of Moreland's drive. "I thought one that A.J. (Pierzynski) hit was gone, too, but it wasn't. Mesoraco's was gone. There was no doubt about it. He didn't miss it."
Texas (47-34) failed to increase its half-game lead in the American League West after Oakland's loss to the St. Louis Cardinals earlier in the day.
Reds starter Mike Leake pitched seven innings before giving way to Sam LeCure. Leake gave up three hits and one earned run.
"He deserved better than what he got from us tonight," Mesoraco said of Leake. "He has been throwing the ball as well as anyone in the league as of late."
Leake received little help from his defense, with three runs in the third inning coming as a result of three errors. Leake finished with four strikeouts and a walk in his second no-decision in four starts and closed out June with a 3-1 record.
Shin-Soo Choo needed just one pitch to end a 22-inning scoreless drought for the Reds. Choo sent the first offering of the game over the left-field fence for his second leadoff homer of the week and fifth of the season.
With the bases loaded in the Reds' third, Brandon Phillips broke a 0-for-18 skid with runners in scoring position by blooping a single to center.
The Rangers took the lead in the bottom of the third when the Reds committed three errors in an inning for the first time since 2006.
First baseman Joey Votto was responsible for the first two, fumbling a soft grounder from Engel Beltre and then throwing the ball away two batters later to allow Beltre to score from third. Ian Kinsler took advantage of the third error of the inning when shortstop Zack Cozart pulled third baseman Jack Hannahan away from the bag trying to get Kinsler on a fielder's choice. Kinsler scored on an RBI by Nelson Cruz
Texas starter Nick Tepesch lasted four innings, giving up three earned runs, six hits and two walks with seven strikeouts.
"When Choo led off with a hit on the first pitch (of the game), he was struggling from that time on," Washington said of Tepesch. "I think it was command more than anything else."
NOTES: Before the game, the Reds announced that RPH Johnny Cueto would return to the disabled list for a third time because of tightness in his right lat. Cueto had been on the DL from April 15 to May 19 with the same issue. ... Saturday's game marked the halfway point of the season for the Rangers as Texas secured its fifth-best record. ... Leonys Martin extended his career-high hitting streak to 13 games with a single in the third inning.

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