ARLINGTON, Texas -- Elvis Andrus
' sacrifice fly in the ninth inning walked the Texas Rangers
off for the fifth time this season, scoring Adam Rosales
to defeat the Houston Astros
5-4 on Wednesday night.
The Rangers (73-53) moved to 14-2 this season in the Battle of the Silver Boot series and completed their third sweep of the season of the Astros. Texas, moving to a season-high 21 games above .500, increased its lead in the American League West to 2 1/2 games with Oakland's loss earlier in the day.
Texas closed a nine-game homestand with a 5-4 record after opening 2-3.
Houston (41-84) concluded a nine-game road swing 4-5, having won its first two series over the A's and Angels. Houston had two errors in the contest that proved costly as each brought home a run, the difference in the series finale.
Mitch Moreland opened the ninth with a single up the middle to avoid the shift and was replaced on the path by Rosales. Rosales advanced to third on back-to-back walks to set the stage for Andrus' fly to left field.
Derek Holland appeared to be heading to his second win in the month of August but was left with his fourth no decision in his last five starts after leaving with a 3-2 lead.
Holland allowed just one run entering the seventh inning but after a line drive bounced off the south paw's back and two consecutive walks, Joakim Soria would replace him on the mound.
Soria forced a double play, allowing one run to score, and escaped the jam with a ground out to end the threat.
The Rangers pushed the lead back to two runs with a squeeze play executed by Elvis Andrus to plate Leonys Martin, but the Astros completed the comeback in the eighth.
With two outs, Rangers reliever Tanner Scheppers allowed the next five hitters to reach base, two coming by the way of a hit-by-pitch. Chris Carter singled to score Jose Altuve and Scheppers first pitch to Max Stassi hit Stassi's shoulder, his second consecutive hit batter, to tie the game at 4-4.
Joe Nathan (4-2) struck out two in the ninth to earn the win, while Chia-Jen Lo picked up the loss for Houston, his first loss of the season.
Jason Castro opened up Houston's half of the second with his 14th homer of the season. Craig Gentry
started Texas' response to lead-off the third. Gentry sent his first base-knock since May -- his second of the season -- over the wall in left center-field.
Texas picked up a second run in the inning when Adrian Beltre singled to left and Robbie Grossman misplayed the ball, allowing Ian Kinsler to score from first.
Kinsler made the Astros pay for back-to-back walks to open the fifth with a single that plated Craig Gentry. His liner up the middle bounced Houston starter Erik Bedard from the game. Bedard allowed five hits and four walks over 4 1/3 with three runs allowed (two earned). Bedard struck out two.
NOTES: Texas signed Brendan Harris to a minor league contract on Wednesday before the game. Harris, turning 33 on Monday, will be with his third organization this season. Harris was released from his minor league contract by the Yankees earlier in the day. ... Texas' 73-53 record after 126 games is tied for the second-best in club history. ... Houston minor leaguer George Springer is seeking to become the first modern minor leaguer to have 40 homers and stolen bases in a season. Springer entered Wednesday with 39 stolen bases and 36 homers for Triple-A Oklahoma City.
- Sports & Recreation
- Houston Astros
- Elvis Andrus
- Adam Rosales