Trailing by five runs in the eighth inning and scheduled for another game to begin barely 13 hours later, the Texas Rangers could've just decided it wasn't their night.
Instead, Ryan Rua hit a three-run homer to cap a seven-run rally, and Texas beat the Chicago White Sox 13-11 on Tuesday.
"Incredible," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "We've talked about the sheer will and heart and resilience. These guys believe."
Chicago led 11-6 before Elvis Andrus led off the bottom of the eighth with a single. Pinch-hitter Mitch Moreland singled home a run, Adrian Beltre drove in another with a sacrifice fly and Ian Desmond hit a two-run triple.
The Rangers still trailed 11-10 with two outs. Rua had only one home run in his previous 48 at-bats, and was just 4 for 26 (.154) against right-handers such as Matt Albers (1-1).
"I kind of swung at two bad fastballs," Rua said. "I had it in the back of my mind that he might come back fastball again, so I was kind of sitting on it."
The ball sailed toward center field, and landed about halfway up the batter's-eye grassy hill beyond the fence.
"It's frustrating. We should have won that game," Albers said. "I pitched around Prince (Fielder) on purpose, and then to Rua got 1-2, and was beating him in, and was trying to go away. The ball leaked right back down the middle."
The AL Central-leading White Sox had won six straight against Texas. Chicago's bullpen entered the game with a major league-leading 1.98 ERA. After the relievers allowed seven earned runs in 1 1/3 innings, the ERA jumped to 2.61.
"We've been using these guys a lot," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "It was an off night, I think, bullpen-wise, and that's going to happen in a long season. This is a game where you tip the cap to those guys. They didn't give up."
Alex Claudio (1-0) gave up a three-run double to the first batter he faced in a five-run fourth inning but allowed only one run of his own in a career-high 4 1/3 innings.
"You can talk about the hitting of Rua and the pinch hitters and the ABs," Banister said, "but it was a tremendous job by Alex Claudio. For a guy who's probably the second-to-last guy in the bullpen, he just kept challenging hitters, going at them."
Shawn Tolleson pitched a perfect ninth for his 11th save in 13 opportunities.
Rua had his homer, two singles and four runs batted in. Desmond and Bryan Holaday each homered and drove in three runs.
Garcia and Todd Frazier each had three RBIs for Chicago.
Umpire crew chief Jeff Nelson stopped the game before the third inning began because of nearby thunder. A strong shower brought a delay of 1 hour, 18 minutes.
The final pitch was shortly before midnight. The final game of the three-game series is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. on Wednesday.
Starting pitchers Derek Holland and Carlos Rodon both came back to pitch the third inning after the delay.
Holland retired only two more batters and allowed four runs in the third. Texas tied the game at 5 on Holaday's three-run homer in the bottom of the inning.
Texas reliever Anthony Ranaudo walked five batters in the fourth. All of them scored.
Rodon had a 10-6 lead when he left after 6 2/3 innings. He allowed six earned runs, 12 hits and two walks, and struck out seven.
White Sox DH Avisail Garcia tied the longest hitting streak (11 games) of his career with his bases-loaded double. 3B Todd Frazier has nine RBIs in the series' first two games. He drove in six runs and hit two homers, including a 12th-inning grand slam, on Monday. . In his second game as Texas' cleanup batter, LF Ian Desmond hit his fourth homer in the seventh inning. DH Fielder dropped to fifth, his lowest position in the batting order this season. . Holaday's homer was his first as a Ranger and his fourth in five major league seasons.
Rangers: RHP A.J. Griffin (shoulder) had a precautionary MRI exam on Tuesday, but team physician Dr. Keith Meister had not evaluated the results before the game. He went on the disabled list Sunday. . The team said there was no timetable for OF Josh Hamilton (left knee surgery) to resume baseball activities. . OF Shin-Soo Choo (strained right calf) went 1 for 3 with a walk in an extended spring training game. The Rangers reported that he was running the bases at 70 percent speed.
Rangers: LHP Cole Hamels (4-0, 2.68) will take his career-high, 11-game winning streak into Wednesday's game.
White Sox: RHP Mat Latos (5-0, 2.62) will start on Wednesday.