ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Mark Teixeira finally got a hit to fall,
with no questions about whether it was fair or foul.
Teixeira ended an 0-for-17 slump with a leadoff double in the
seventh inning, then scored the go-ahead run for the Texas Rangers
in their 3-1 victory over the Houston Astros on Friday night that
snapped a season-worst five-game losing streak."It felt great to break out of it and get a win," said
Teixeira, hitless the previous four games.The only time Teixeira went five straight games without a hit
was in April 2003, in his first five games in the major leagues.Teixeira thought he had a bases-clearing double in the ninth
inning Tuesday night in San Francisco, but it was ruled foul even
though the ball appeared to land on the line and kick up chalk.
After Teixeira argued and was ejected, his pinch hitter flied out
and the Rangers lost.Against the Astros and Roy Oswalt (6-4), Teixeira hit a flare
that dropped between center fielder Willy Taveras and second
baseman Chris Burke, who collided and were shaken up on the play.
Neither left the game."A lot of guys get a little woe is me and Cadillac down the
line. Not many people would have been on second base there,"
manager Buck Showalter said."I knew it had a chance to fall. I wanted to make sure I got to
second," Teixeira said. "I didn't want to take it for granted."Taveras was coming in and made a sliding attempt and Burke was
going out when his left foot slammed into the outfielder's inner
thigh and Burke tumbled hard to the ground. Both players remained
down for several minutes while being tended to, but remained in the
game.Manager Phil Garner said Burke had a sore big toe and Taveras
was spiked in the thigh, but that both players seemed to be OK.Kevin Mench was intentionally walked with one out in the seventh
before Ian Kinsler singled. Brad Wilkerson walked on a full-count
pitch with the bases loaded, forcing home Teixeira for a 2-1 lead.Kinsler also homered for the Rangers, just off a 1-5 road trip.
Mark DeRosa and Michael Young had consecutive doubles in the eighth
for another run.Vicente Padilla (7-5), who was hit on the shoulder while
throwing Thursday, allowed four hits over eight innings with five
strikeouts and a walk. Akinori Otsuka worked the ninth for his 16th
save in 18 chances."The key to Vicente is his fastball. When he is on and he is
locating, he can be very tough," catcher Rod Barajas said.
"Tonight, he located it, whether up or down or on both sides of
the plate."Padilla threw 79 of his 111 pitches for strikes."Oswalt was tough," Showalter said. "Our guy was a little
tougher tonight."Oswalt allowed three runs and nine hits in his first complete
game this season, with five strikeouts and two walks, one
intentional. He is 1-2 his last eight starts despite a 2.93 ERA in
that span."We're not playing ball. That's the bottom line," Oswalt said.
"If we keep playing the way we are now, we'll be out of it by
August. ... We're not playing together right now. We're not having
fun. Everybody is worrying about losing."The Astros (38-42) are 1-6 on their road trip with four straight
losses. The defending NL champions finally scored for the first
time in three games.Shut out its last two games during a sweep in Detroit, Houston
snapped a 21-inning scoreless streak in the second inning when
Lance Berkman led off with a double and scored on Preston Wilson's
single. Wilson had three of the Astros' four hits.The Rangers tied the game 1-1 in the bottom of the second when
Kinsler's sixth homer barely cleared the 14-foot wall in left.Roger Clemens won't pitch in the series and isn't with the
Astros this weekend. But his wife, Debbie, was in Arlington for the
second annual softball game Friday between the Astros and Rangers
wives -- that game ended in a 14-14 tie.The 43-year-old seven-time Cy Young winner attended the Rangers'
season opener against the Red Sox when he was still a free agent
and trying to decide whether to pitch again this season. Clemens
(0-2) is scheduled to make his third start since rejoining the
Astros on Monday at home against the Chicago Cubs.
Mike Lamb flied out at the end of a 16-pitch at-bat in the
sixth. That accounted for one-fifth of Padilla's 81 pitches to that
point. ... Garner didn't serve his one-game suspension as scheduled
Friday night. He has asked for a review of the penalty, which came
after he was ejected Monday in Detroit and threw a chair onto the
field. ... Texas Gov. Rick Perry sat in Rangers owner Tom Hicks'
field-level box. There were a few boos when he was introduced. ...
Young grounded into two double plays, increasing his season total