ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Houston Astros snapped a six-game skid against the Texas Rangers by powering to a 9-5 win Saturday night at Rangers Ballpark.
Houston (32-56) had not knocked more than two homers in a game since belting six against Baltimore on June 5. However, three Houston long balls equated to seven runs Saturday.
Texas (50-37) fell to the Astros at home for the first time since 2011. The loss also meant the Rangers missed out on an opportunity to regain the lead in the AL West after Oakland fell in Kansas City earlier in the day. Texas ended the day a half-game behind Oakland.
Having squandered a four-run lead to end the sixth inning that tied the game, the Astros bounced back with a rally started by a walk from Texas starter Yu Darvish in the seventh inning.
Robbie Ross replaced Darvish on the mound and opened by hitting Brett Wallace to bring Jason Castro to the plate.
Castro, who was selected to his first-career All-Star Game earlier in the day, knocked his career-high 12th home run of the season to center and gave Houston a 7-4 lead.
Darvish (8-4) gave up five earned runs on six hits and four walks. He struck out six.
After allowing Texas to jump out to a 10-0 lead on Friday night, Houston opened up scoring Saturday with a two-run home run from Brandon Barnes in the fourth inning.
Barnes followed up a single by Marc Krauss with his fourth homer of the season, belting a two-out pitch over the left-field wall.
Houston rallied on two outs again in the fifth, this time following two walks and a single to load the bases.
Krauss lined a grounder in between first and second bases to push Jose Altuve and Wallace across the plate.
Astros starter Dallas Keuchel saw his 4-0 lead dissipate into a no-decision in the sixth. Keuchel, who left with a two-run lead in his previous start against Texas on May 10, opened the gates Saturday by allowing back-to-back singles before being replaced on the mound by Paul Clemens.
Keuchel left after allowing six hits and two earned runs while striking out four.
Clemens gave way to Wesley Wright after a one-out walk, and Wright did little favor for his starter.
Mitch Moreland pushed the first Texas run across the plate with a sacrifice fly before the Rangers tied the game on the next at-bat.
Geovany Soto entered without a base hit with runners in scoring position since May 16, but he sent a line-drive home run just over the left-center field wall to even the game at 4-4.
After Castro's homer put Houston up three in the seventh, Nelson Cruz homered for Texas to cut it to 7-5 in the bottom of the seventh.
Jake Elmore's two-run homer in the eighth finished the scoring for Houston.
Travis Blackley pitched 1 1/3 innings for the Astros to earn his first win of the year.
NOTES: Before the game, the Rangers recognized the first responders from the explosion in West, Texas, in the "City of West Night." MLB and MLBPA donated $100,000, while the Rangers Foundation donated $40,000 and Rangers players contributed $27,000 to the city of West. ... Texas had three players named to the American League All-Star team Saturday: Nelson Cruz was joined by pitchers Yu Darvish and Joe Nathan. Houston's representative will be C Jason Castro, who was named to his first All-Star team. ... Jurickson Profar, used as a utility infielder to date, made his first start in the outfield (left field).