Must-see moment:

Rangers sweep Astros for third time

The SportsXchange

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.

"I think you learn a lot when you play close games," Andrus said. "Looking ahead, those are the games that you have to win. Lately that has been the way we are winning games and it is big and is going to help us mentally down the stretch."

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.

"They hurt us today," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "Our infield defense had the guys out there that are usually sure-handed, and it cost a couple of unearned runs that had a huge impact on the game."

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.

Craig Gentry provided an offensive boost for Texas. He was 1-4 with a solo-homer but crossed the plate three times overall.

"I was very impressed," Rangers manager Ron Washington said of Gentry's play. "He is coming around at the right time and giving us good at-bats at the right time. He's running the base paths and playing tremendous defense. He is playing well right now."

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 southpaw's arm 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 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 way of a hit-by-pitch. Chris Carter singled to score Jose Altuve and Scheppers first pitch to Max Stassi hit the designated hitter, his second consecutive hit batter, to tie the game at 4-4.

Stassi would leave the game after the ball glanced off his shoulder and hit him in the face.

"He's at the hospital right now and we will get a full report when they run all the tests," Porter said after the game. "It was a scary situation."

Jason Frasor came in to relieve Scheppers, striking out Brett Wallace to leave the bases loaded.

"It was tense," Washington said. "Frasor came in and settled it down and we kept battling and things fell into our favor in the ninth inning."

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.

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.
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