Outside their three unearned runs on three Cincinnati errors in the third, the AL West-leading Rangers got only one more run and lost 6-4 in 11 innings to the Reds on Saturday night.
"We had one hit for a long time and three runs, so they kind of gave us three runs," catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. "I'm disappointed in the fact we didn't win, but other than that, I mean, their pitcher did a great job keeping us off balance and we had a couple of chances we didn't cash in. We did cash in a couple that we shouldn't have, so it evens out.
Cincinnati was coming off consecutive shutout losses, including 4-0 in the series opener Friday night, before Shin-Soo Choo hit rookie Nick Tepesch's first pitch into the visitors bullpen for a quick 1-0 Reds lead.
Devin Mesoraco hit a two-run homer in the 11th, right after Kyle McClellan (0-1) had hit Todd Frazier with a pitch to start the inning.
Reds starter Mike Leake allowed only three hits and one earned run in seven innings.
The Rangers had only one hit before consecutive doubles by Elvis Andrus and Nelson Cruz to start the sixth for a 4-all tie.
"He's thrown the ball as well as anybody in the league and he really deserved better than what he got," Mesoraco said.
With runners at first and third for Texas in the 10th, Adrian Beltre had an inning-ending foul popout caught by catcher Mesoraco.
Pierzynski drew a leadoff walk in the 11th, but Mitch Moreland—whose deep flyball leading off the bottom of the ninth was caught by right fielder Jay Bruce against the wall—then grounded into a double play.
"I thought his was gone," manager Ron Washington said of Moreland's ball in the ninth, the same he felt about Pierzynski's deep fly to center to end the eighth. "I thought the one A.J. hit was gone. But it wasn't carrying. The one Mesoraco hit, he hit that. He didn't miss it, he hit it."
Texas had won three in a row and nine of 11.
The Reds and Rangers both played their 81st game, reaching the midpoint of the regular season. Texas (47-34) has a half-game lead over Oakland while Cincinnati (46-35) is is in third place in the NL Central, a season-high 4 1/2 games behind division-leading Pittsburgh.
J.J. Hoover (1-5) got the last two outs in the 10th, even after a walk and a hit. Aroldis Chapman worked the 11th for his 20th save in 23 chances.
The Reds had lost six of seven overall. They had also lost five consecutive interleague games.
"We made a bunch of mistakes, but they kept fighting and fighting, and that's all that matters that we got a win," manager Dusty Baker said.
Two of Cincinnati's three errors came on fielder's choice plays that produced runs as Texas went ahead 3-2 in the third.
All-Star first baseman Joey Votto made two errors, the first when he was unable to pick up the ball after a grounder hit off the heel of his glove. Leonys Martin, the No. 9 hitter, followed with a single to extend his hitting streak to 13 games before consecutive fielder's choice plays.
Votto made a nifty backhanded stop of Ian Kinsler's grounder, but he threw wide of home unsuccessful trying to get a runner. The throwing error allowed other runners to advance to second and third before Andrus hit a RBI grounder to shortstop Zack Cozart.
With Kinsler also running, Cozart's wide throw forced third baseman Jack Hannahan to reach away from the bag for the third Cincinnati error in four batters. Kinsler stopped momentarily before jumping onto the bag and avoiding the tag. Cruz then had a sacrifice fly.
Tepesch struck out seven, but was gone after allowing three consecutive hits to start the fifth.
"Obviously the leadoff homer. First pitch of the game, he threw a high fastball," Pierzynski said. "I thought he made some good pitches. Obviously the one inning he struggled a little bit. But I thought he made some good pitches to get out of the one inning when he had bases loaded, one out, and only gave up one run."
Cincinnati got an unearned run in the third after Derrick Robinson reached on an error by second baseman Jurickson Profar, the 20-year-old rookie who a night earlier at shortstop made two spectacular plays.
Robinson scored on a bloop single by Brandon Phillips that loaded the bases before Tepesch struck out Bruce and Xavier Paul to end the inning.
Notes: Votto has 10 errors in 80 games this season. He had six in 109 games last year. ... Tepesch is winless in eight starts since his last win May 12 at Houston. He won his major league debut April 9 against Tampa Bay, but is winless in seven starts at Rangers Ballpark since.