ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers kept the Houston Astros at bay in the final four innings and held on for a 5-4 victory on Sunday at Rangers Ballpark.
The finale of the series included three home runs, boosting the total to 12 in the three weekend games, but an error in the Rangers' half of the fifth inning proved to be the difference.
After allowing Houston to tie the score at 4-4 with two errors in the top of the inning, Texas opened the bottom of the fifth with Ian Kinsler reaching safely on a grounder that rolled between the legs of Astros second basemen Jose Altuve.
Kinsler advanced to second on a walk and scored the go-ahead run on a single to left by Nelson Cruz to give Texas a 5-4 advantage.
"You never know what play is going to make the difference," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "I'm glad much more didn't happen in the fifth. You have to think about all we gave up was one run and we come back and score the run that ended up being the winning run."
Texas (51-37) ended a nine-game homestand with a 5-4 record. The Rangers also ran their streak to 11 consecutive series wins over their Lone Star State rival and improved to 7-2 against the Astros this season.
The Rangers begin a seven-game, seven-day road trip on Monday when they face the Baltimore Orioles.
Houston (32-57), having defeated the Rangers 9-5 on Saturday, failed to take its first series against the Rangers in Arlington since 2006.
The Astros missed out on several chances to strike against the Rangers. Houston was 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position, and Astros players were thrown out on the bases four times -- two times caught stealing and two pick-offs.
"We are an aggressive ballclub," Astros manager Bo Porter said of the attempts. "I'm never going to have our guys feel like they can't be aggressive. It is one of those things that you push the envelope because you are looking to ignite the offense."
Texas starter Justin Grimm lasted into the fifth but failed to record an out in allowing his lead to dissipate.
In the fifth inning, Grimm's attempted pick-off of Brandon Barnes at second went into center field, allowing both runners to advance. Barnes scored three pitches later when Jurickson Profar could not handle the throw from home on another pick-off attempt that went into left to tie the score at 4.
"A lot of these teams aren't beating me, I am beating myself," Grimm said. "It came down to a ball just being caught in between the legs of the runner and then we had the guy (at third). It wasn't something I could control."
Grimm struck out two and allowed three earned runs in four innings.
Five Rangers relievers pitched an inning each to finish off the Astros. Cory Burns and Joakim Soria each worked a perfect inning before Jason Frasor and Neal Cotts combined for five strikeouts.
Soria made his debut for Texas in the sixth after being out since 2012 with Tommy John surgery. Soria threw just 11 pitches in retiring the side, appearing not to miss a beat during his time away, according to Rangers catcher A.J. Pierzynski.
"It was amazing how comfortable and in rhythm he looked like out there," Pierzynski said. "He looked like he hadn't missed a day. He threw all fastballs but they all had good life on them and good finish on them."
Burns picked up his first career victory in four big-league appearances, and Joe Nathan posted his 29th save of the season.
"I certainly don't want to run five guys out there normally," Washington said. "But if we can give them one inning at a time they can be available for us till we get to the break. Each one we brought in with a purpose."
Houston's Erik Bedard (3-5) pitched 6 1/3 innings, giving up four earned runs and five walks. Bedard struck out four.
The Rangers picked up their early lead with two home runs.
Pierzynski belted his eighth home run of the season in the first to open up a three-run advantage.
"I was able to make some adjustments and it's nice to be rewarded on it," Pierzynski said. "I haven't been swinging the bat well in the last week. It was nice yesterday getting the day off and I was able to get to the cages and focus in on some things."
However, Houston wasted little time with a response in the second. Marc Krauss hit his first career home run -- a two-run shot to center.
Adrian Beltre pushed the Texas lead to 4-2 in the third with his fourth home run in as many games.
J.K. Martinez's two-out single drove in Houston's Carlos Corporan, who singled, to cut the Texas lead to 4-3.
NOTES: Texas made four rosters moves before the game. The Rangers placed RHP Nick Tepesch and DH Lance Berkman on the 15-day disabled list. To fill the roster spots, Texas activated Soria and Burns. Soria had missed the entire 2012 season while recovering from Tommy John elbow surgery. ... The Rangers announced that they will make up a May 29 rainout against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 1.