Rangers 3, Astros 1
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.
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 to 18.