Rangers 7, Astros 2
Wright overcame shaky control to win for the first time in almost a year, and Michael Young had four RBIs to lead the Texas Rangers over the Astros 7-2 Saturday for their season-best fourth win in a row.
Wright beat Houston ace Roy Oswalt and improved to 2-12 in his career against the Astros. He was winless against them until last season.
“The monkey’s still on there,” Wright said. “It’ll take 10 more wins to get to .500. It’s never easy against them.”
Wright (1-1) walked six in 5 2-3 innings, but the Astros only managed three hits off him as he earned his first victory with the Rangers. He also struck out five to win for the first time since last July 18 for San Francisco over Milwaukee.
It was just Wright’s third start of the season and his second since missing two months with right shoulder inflammation.
“I thought his sinker was good,” Texas manager Ron Washington said. “He threw some good breaking balls and he was facing one of the best pitchers in baseball and he was matching zeros.”
Texas has now won seven of its past nine games—all against NL Central opponents. The Rangers improved to 11-6 in interleague play this season.
“It’s nice to be playing better baseball, that’s for sure,” Young said. “We’re just doing a better job top to bottom. The starters are doing a good job of keeping us in ballgames.”
Young had two-run singles in the fifth and eighth innings, Gerald Laird hit his fifth home run, and Kenny Lofton had three hits and walked twice for the Rangers, who have scored 40 runs in five games against the Astros.
Oswalt (7-5) allowed three runs and eight hits in 6 1-3 innings. He struck out two and walked four.
Young’s two-run single was the big blow in Texas’ three-run fifth against Oswalt and one of four straight two-out hits Texas had in the inning to go ahead 3-1.
“They had some balls here and there that fell in,” Oswalt said. “It could have gone either way. It was just one of those games.”
After Laird homered to lead off the eighth, Young added another two-run single and Marlon Byrd singled in a run to make it 7-2.
Texas beat Oswalt without slugger Sammy Sosa, who took the day off after hitting his 601st home run Friday.
Houston first baseman Lance Berkman also sat out with a bruised left hand. Manager Phil Garner said he’s day to day.
Astros second baseman Craig Biggio pinch-hit in the ninth, lining out to third. Biggio has 2,993 career hits and is looking to become the 27th player to reach 3,000.
“Our offense is hit or miss,” Garner said. “I don’t know if it’s so much their pitching as it is our offense.”
Wright walked the first two batters of the game but got out of trouble thanks to a double play and a flyout. He also walked men in the second, fourth, fifth and sixth innings.
Houston opened the scoring on Morgan Ensberg’s RBI double in the fourth.
Texas is 4-1 against Houston and clinched the season series to win the 2 1/2 -foot tall Silver Boot Trophy between the in-state rivals. … Texas SS Ramon Vazquez was 0-for-4 and is 8-for-15 against the Astros this season. … Lamb extended his hitting streak to nine games with a single in the fourth and is 19-for-35 in that span.