Prior to Sunday's game, Texas manager Ron Washington said he had a gut feeling about starting pitcher Nick Martinez.
Washington could have used one for his bullpen, as well.
The Rangers got 5 1-3 serviceable innings out of the rookie right-hander, only to see the Houston Astros rally for two runs in the eighth against his relief for a 3-2 win.
"I told him he did his job when he came off the field," Washington said of Martinez. "It was up to the bullpen to finish it off. We had the two best we've got in there and we just didn't do it."
Matt Dominguez hit a tying homer and Jose Altuve's fourth hit drove in the go-ahead run for Houston.
Dominguez connected off reliever Neal Cotts (2-8) with one out in the eighth to make it 2-all.
One out, one pitching change and three batters later, Altuve singled home Jake Marisnick off Neftali Feliz to break the tie.
Marisnick, who had been hit by Cotts to get on base, stole second, setting up Altuve.
"You don't want to give free passes away that late in the game, and it came back to haunt me," Cotts said. "Came back to haunt us."
Martinez allowed one run and six hits. He struck out four and walked three. He loaded the bases in the third on back-to-back walks, but escaped unscathed.
"I felt good," he said. "I just ran into one long inning that kind of took me off-track. I tried to get back on track and had another one quick inning after that and then just fell behind some hitters that last inning in the sixth."
Jose Veras (3-1) got the win and Chad Qualls posted his 16th save.
Dallas Keuchel went seven innings for the Astros, allowing two runs and five hits. He struck out three and walked two.
Alex Rios doubled and singled for Texas, driving in a run and scoring run. His RBI single in the sixth, a grounder that got between second and short, scored Daniel Robertson to put Texas ahead 2-1.
Rios doubled and scored on Ryan Rua's grounder in the first inning.
Washington lamented his team's inability to add to the score. Texas left six on base and were 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position.
"We put ourselves in position to maybe add on and didn't do it," he said. "We still had the lead going into the part of the game where we had our two best pitchers in there."