ARLINGTON, Texas —
The Rangers opened the series with that four-error inning Thursday but won on rookie Jurickson Profar’s game-ending homer. Nathan was the winner after pitching the ninth of that game and saved the last two.
With 43 saves in 46 chances, Nathan said he is ready to go again if needed.
If the Rangers win the final game Sunday, they will be guaranteed at least a wild-card tiebreaker.
The 11:07 a.m. start was the earliest home game in the 42 seasons the Rangers have played in Texas — the game was moved up eight hours because of the threat of bad weather.
The game was played mostly under overcast skies, and there were quick showers while the Rangers batted in the first and fifth innings without any delays. It was a downpour in the ninth after Nathan got two quick outs before Josh Hamilton had a pinch double and Mike Trout walked.
“I was saying we’ve got to stop this game,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “The guys standing on the infield, if a ball is hit to them, I can’t see them throwing it across the infield. But we didn’t have to worry about that because Joe got him out.’
Nathan described it as “basically a lake out there.”
Joakim Soria (1-0) got his first major league victory since July 23, 2011, striking out two in 1 1-3 scoreless innings in relief of Derek Holland. Robbie Ross and Tanner Scheppers each worked a scoreless inning before Nathan took over.