Series: Game 2 of 3

Texas leads 2-0 (as of 6/26)

Game 1: Friday, June 25
Game 2: Saturday, June 26
Game 3: Sunday, June 27

Astros 7

(38-36, 18-17 away)

Rangers 8

(42-29, 25-11 home)

    4:10 PM ET, June 26, 2004

    Globe Life Park in Arlington, Arlington, Texas 

    123456789 R H E
    HOU 010110400 7 10 0
    TEX 20013101 - 8 16 0

    W: C. Almanzar (6-0)

    L: D. Miceli (3-3)

    S: F. Cordero (22)

    Blalock's 4-for-5 day includes go-ahead HR

    ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Hank Blalock matched a career high with four hits, including the go-ahead homer in the eighth inning, and the Texas Rangers beat Houston 8-7 Saturday for their eighth straight win.

    Blalock went 4-for-5 and his 18th homer came with two outs off Dan Miceli (3-3). He's hitting .528 (28-of-53) over his last 15 games.

    Houston, which claimed the Lone Star Series the last two seasons, lost for the second time in less than 24 hours since acquiring outfielder Carlos Beltran from Kansas City in a three-way trade in which they gave up closer Octavio Dotel.

    Kevin Mench also homered and Alfonso Soriano had four singles for the Rangers, who lead the AL West.

    Texas has the longest winning streak in the majors. San Francisco carried a seven-game winning streak into its game Saturday night at Oakland, which along with Anaheim trailed the Rangers by 2{ games.

    The Astros tied the game at 7 when Lance Berkman's three-run double capped a four-run outburst in the seventh inning. Adam Everett's RBI single had chased starter John Wasdin.

    Carlos Almanzar (6-0), the sixth Texas pitcher, pitched one inning and has the most wins without a loss in the majors. Francisco Cordero pitched the ninth for his 22nd save in 24 chances.

    Beltran was 1-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. In his debut Friday night, he had two of Houston's three hits and scored the only run in a 3-1 loss to the Rangers.

    Houston's four-run seventh helped Tim Redding avoid his fourth straight loss over five starts. He gave up six runs on 10 hits, six from the last eight hitters he faced.

    After Michael Young's leadoff single in the fifth, Blalock had his second double -- a hard shot down the line that bounced under first baseman Mike Lamb's glove and into the right-field corner to break a 3-3 tie. Soriano followed with a single to chase Redding.

    Mike Gallo then faced only three batters, giving up Brad Fullmer's second RBI single on his first pitch, and hitting Mark Teixeira on the second. David Dellucci's sacrifice fly made it 6-3.

    Mench led off the sixth with his seventh homer.

    The Rangers took a 2-0 lead after consecutive singles by Blalock and Soriano in the first. Fullmer had his first RBI single and Soriano scored when Teixeira grounded out to Lamb, who recovered after bobbling the ball.

    Lamb's sixth homer tied the game at 2 in the fourth, two innings after Jeff Bagwell had a leadoff double and scored on a single by Brad Ausmus. Lamb played first while Bagwell was the DH.

    The Rangers regained the lead on Dellucci's RBI single in the fourth, but Craig Biggio led off the fifth with his ninth homer to make it 3-3.

    Game notes

    Rangers C Rod Barajas stretch his hitting streak to a career-best 10 games with a fourth-inning single. ... Pregame rain kept the teams from on-field batting practice for the second straight day. It was raining at the start and end of the game, but there were no delays.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press