Series: Game 1 of 4

Texas leads 1-0 (as of 8/9)

Game 1: Friday, August 9
Game 2: Saturday, August 10
Game 3: Sunday, August 11
Game 4: Monday, August 12

Rangers 9

(66-50, 33-26 away)

Astros 5

(37-77, 19-40 home)

    8:10 PM ET, August 9, 2013

    Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas 

    123456789 R H E
    TEX 000200142 9 12 0
    HOU 010210001 5 9 0

    W: M. Garza (2-1)

    L: J. Zeid (0-1)

    S: N. Cotts (1)

    Rangers rally past Astros to win 5th straight

    Associated Press

    HOUSTON -- The Texas Rangers got hits from seven of their nine starters on Friday night, to the delight of manager Ron Washington.

    "That's when we're at our best, when we get hits from everybody," Washington said.

    Leonys Martin hit a two-run double in a four-run eighth inning, and the Rangers used the balanced attack to rally and tie a season high with their fifth straight victory, 9-5 over the Houston Astros.

    Houston led by one entering the eighth before Adrian Beltre tied it with an RBI single off Josh Zeid (0-1). Wesley Wright's two-out, bases-loaded walk of Jurickson Profar put the Rangers on top. Martin then belted a line drive to right field to score two and make it 7-4.

    "Since we're playing so aggressively, that lead that they had didn't mean a lot to us," Martin said. "I think we're playing good baseball right now."

    The Rangers have rebounded from a stretch where they lost 12 of 15 games to win 10 of their last 11 and move into a tie with Oakland for first place in the AL West.

    Matt Garza (2-1) yielded seven hits and four runs with eight strikeouts in seven innings.

    "Great team win," Garza said. "I stayed long enough in there to let the boys come back and pick it up. Sometimes you give up four and you get a win."

    The Astros used five pitchers in the eighth inning alone, but it didn't help relieve their bullpen woes. Houston's relievers have given up the lead six times in the last 13 games and have blown six saves in that span.

    "I personally feel sorry for our starters, but they are not going to show it because they are good teammates," manager Bo Porter said.

    Jason Castro doubled and homered, and Brandon Barnes added a home run for the Astros, who lost for the seventh time in eight games.

    Houston loaded the bases in the eighth inning, but came away empty-handed when Neal Cotts struck out pinch-hitter Marc Krauss to end the inning. He earned his first save.

    Joey Butler had his first career hits on a pair of doubles for Texas in his first major league start.

    "I'm real happy," Washington said in summing up the night. "The key is what's happening up and down the lineup. Tonight it was a big walk by Joey Butler, another big walk by Profar; it was a battle by Martin against a lefty to deliver."

    Butler's second double came with one out in the seventh inning. Profar's RBI single got Texas within 4-3 before Houston starter Erik Bedard ended his night by striking out Martin.

    Ian Kinsler walked to start the eighth and stole second base. The Rangers tied it at 4-all with Beltre's RBI single to shallow center field which chased Zeid.

    Josh Fields intentionally walked pinch-hitter David Murphy with two outs before walking Butler to load the bases and bring on Wright.

    Things looked good for the Astros early. Castro's 445-foot homer to the second deck in right field to start the second put Houston up 1-0.

    Singles by Kinsler and A. J. Pierzynski sandwiched around a walk by Beltre loaded the bases in the fourth inning. A sacrifice fly by Jeff Baker tied it at 1 before a sacrifice bunt sent Beltre home to put Texas up 2-1.

    Garza had retired six in a row before L.J. Hoes doubled to start Houston's fourth. A double by Jose Altuve sent Hoes home to make it 2-all.

    Castro's 31st double, which bounced off the wall in left-center, scored Altuve to put Houston up 3-2. Barnes homered to start the fifth for a two-run lead.

    Bedard allowed seven hits and three runs in 6 2/3 innings and is winless since June 26.

    Houston's inexperience was painfully evident in the ninth inning, when Pierzynski bunted and rookie pitcher Jorge De Leon scooped up the ball and looked at Kinsler on third before throwing to first. As soon as De Leon looked away, Kinsler dashed home ahead of the throw to make it 8-4.

    Murphy had an RBI double later in the ninth.

    Game notes

    The Rangers acquired OF Alex Rios from the Chicago White Sox on Friday. He will join the team on Saturday. ... Texas DH Lance Berkman, who has been on the DL since July 7 with left hip inflammation and also experienced pain in his surgically repaired right knee, will begin a rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Round Rock on Saturday. ... Houston SS Jonathan Villar was out of the lineup for a second straight game with a sprained left thumb. Porter said he will not go on the DL, but he isn't sure when he'll play. "He's going to take batting practice and go through the whole routine and we will re-evaluate it after to see what degree of soreness if any and then move forward from there," Porter said. ... The series continues on Saturday when Texas left-hander Derek Holland opposes Brad Peacock.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Game Information

    StadiumMinute Maid Park, Houston, TX
    Attendance23,673 (56.3% full) - % is based on regular season capacity
    Game Time3:58
    UmpiresHome Plate - Tom Hallion, First Base - Phil Cuzzi, Second Base - Chris Guccione, Third Base - Ron Kulpa

    Research Notes

    Alex Rios: 12 HR, 26 SB this season Only 2 other players have at least that many homers and steals in 2013-- Carlos Gomez and Jean Segura. But 2 other notes for Rios: * Rios has a .263/.304/.330 batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage slashline in his last 49 games, with one home run in 194 at-bats. * Rios enters with a nine-game hitting streak, during which he is hitting .324, but he only has one extra-base hit during this stretch. * For those who think that Rios might find his power stroke in Rangers Ballpark, keep this in mind: In 161 at-bats there, he has only one home run.
    Jason Castro's second-inning home run was calculated at 454 feet, the longest home run at Minute Maid Park this season. Castro now owns the two longest home runs in Houston this season, the other being a 444-foot home run off Jerome Williams on June 28.
    Matt Garza has played well since being traded to the Rangers, especially at home. He is 1-0, 1.88 ERA in 2 starts in Arlington this season. In the same amount of starts, Garza is 1-1, 4.80 ERA on the road.

    ESPN Stats & Information