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Rangers 7, Astros 3

The SportsXchange

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Houston Astros proved to be just the right remedy for the Texas Rangers' ailing playoff hopes.

Texas completed a three-game sweep of the Astros on Wednesday night with a 7-3 victory at Rangers Ballpark.

The Rangers (87-71) continued to dominate their in-state rivals, closing the season series with a 17-2 advantage against the Astros. The 17 wins tied for the most against a club in a season, matching the Indians advantage over the White Sox, achieved earlier on Wednesday night, and joined the 1974 Braves and 1986 Mets as teams to accomplish the feat.

In sweeping the Astros for the third consecutive time, Texas picked up its 11th straight win in the series, the fourth most against a club consecutively in league history.

Despite the three-game sweep, Texas failed to pick up a game in the wild-card chase with both Tampa Bay and Cleveland winning. Texas remained a game behind Cleveland for the final playoff spot. And the Rangers close the season with a four-game set against the Los Angeles Angels.

Houston ended its road schedule for 2013 with a 27-54 record and losers of their last 11 games. With the defeat, the Astros set a franchise record for most losses in a single season, moving to 51-108, surpassing last year's 107 losses.

Martin Perez, lifted by the Texas offense, ended a string of three straight starts without a win.

Perez (10-5) failed to pitch into the seventh inning in his past three starts. However, Wednesday night was different.

The left-hander worked around a three-run third as his only blemish on the night, striking out eight, allowing six hits and a walk.

Jason Frasor and Joakim Soria would each work a scoreless inning in relief to finish off the victory.

Dallas Keuchel (6-10) lasted 5 2/3 innings for Houston, giving up seven runs (six earned) on six hits. Keuchel struck out five.

With the Rangers leading 1-0, the Astros scored three times in the fourth inning. Chris Carter drove in his 81st RBI to tie the game and Brandon Laird, batting .188, hit his fifth home run of the season to put the Astros ahead, 3-1.

The Rangers woke up in their half of the fourth inning and scored five runs, all with two outs. The big blow came off the bat of Leonys Martin, who drove in three runs with bases-loaded double.

Alex Rios also had two RBIs in the inning.

Notes: Texas' 86 wins entering Wednesday's game clinched a club-record fifth consecutive season with 86 wins. ... The come-from-behind 3-2 win on Tuesday night gave Texas a club record in comebacks with 46, surpassing the total of 45 achieved in 1986, 1999 and 2007. ... The Astros close their season with a three-game series against the Yankees beginning on Friday when the Astros send LHP Brett Oberholtzer to the mound to square-off against LHP Andy Pettitte, who is retiring at the end of this season.
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