Brock Holt and the Texas Rangers needed just such a send-off before going back on the road, where things have really been difficult for them.
Holt hit a game-ending single with two outs in the 11th inning and the Rangers beat the NL-best San Francisco Giants 4-3 on Wednesday for only their second win in 14 games, ending a five-game homestand in a span that started with an 0-9 mark on their longest winless trip in team history.
“It’s fun winning baseball games, especially when times have been a little rough for us,” said Holt, who was mobbed by teammates, including one who accidentally slapped him in the face during the celebration after he lined a single to center off lefty Jake McGee (2-2).
Nate Lowe, who had a tying pinch-hit sacrifice fly in the 10th inning, started the 11th on second base. There were two popups before he scored to end the Rangers’ fourth walk-off win this season. They ended a 13-game interleague losing streak that had matched a major league record.
“Obviously, any momentum helps. But it’s like I said the other day, bring on the '27 Yankees, bring on the road,” manager Chris Woodward said. “You’re going to have to face it, and let’s go. I think that’s the best thing.”
The Rangers traveled afterward for an off day in Los Angeles before opening a three-game weekend series Friday night against the defending World Series champion Dodgers. Texas has lost its last 15 games away from Globe Life Field, where the Dodgers won the neutral site World Series last October.
Brett Martin (1-2), the fourth Rangers pitcher, allowed one hit while working both extra innings.
Sammy Long struck out seven over four innings in an impressive major league debut for the Giants, who still have the NL's best record at 38-23. Jason Vosler and Chadwick Tromp hit back-to-back homers off AL ERA leader Kyle Gibson.
The Rangers tied the game 2-2 in the ninth off sidearm-throwing Tyler Rogers, the fifth San Francisco pitcher, who also pitched the 10th after his fourth blown save in 12 chances. Kiner-Falefa had a leadoff single in the ninth, stole second and scored on Adolis Garcia's popup that dropped in right field for a hit.
In the Giants 10th, Mauricio Dubon moved to third on Tromp's leadoff single before scoring on a double-play grounder.
Long, who three years ago had decided to stop playing baseball after being released by Tampa Bay on the final day of spring training, had a stretch when he struck out five consecutive batters. The 25-year-old lefty came on in the second inning as planned, throwing 47 of 69 pitches for strikes after Zack Littell was used as an opener in his first big league start since 2018.
After what he called a crazy few days before his debut, Long said he was comfortable on the mound.
“That was above and beyond right there on. ... Just felt like I was in my element,” he said.
“Don't think we could have drawn it up any better for Sammy. I thought he was poised, obviously used all of his weapons, able to execute all of them for strikes,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “The line is incredibly impressive for the first time out at the major league level."
Eli White's leadoff double in the sixth was the first Rangers hit, chasing Long, and White scored on a groundout by Kiner-Falefa.
Gibson struck out five and walked two over six innings, and the only runs he allowed were homers by Vosler and Tromp starting the fourth. The right-hander's AL-best ERA went up slightly to 2.13, still better than New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole's 2.26 going into his scheduled start Wednesday night.
The Giants matched a 20-year-old club record with multiple homers in their seventh consecutive road game. ... It was the first game to go past 10 innings at Globe Life Field, which opened last year. ... Texas reliever Spencer Patton retired all three batters he faced in the ninth, his first big league appearance since 2016.
Giants: OF Alex Dickerson was placed on the 10-day injured list with an upper back strain and tightness. He appeared to be in discomfort after a swinging strikeout in his only at-bat Tuesday night, when he started as the designated hitter.
Rangers: Closer Ian Kennedy was put on the 10-day IL because of a mild left hamstring strain. The move was retroactive to Sunday, two days after a 30-pitch outing for his 12th save. ... RF Joey Gallo was held out of the lineup after coming out of Tuesday's game with right groin tightness.
Both teams are set to face three-time NL Cy Young Award winners on the road in their next games. The Giants open a four-game series Thursday at Washington against Max Scherzer (5-4, 2.22 ERA). Texas get Dallas native Clayton Kershaw (7-5, 3.66) on Friday night in LA.
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